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Entries in motorola (8)

Sunday
Aug302009

Portable Telephones (1976)

The 1976 book Future Facts is filled with predictions of artificial life, underwater cities and traveling from New York to Los Angeles in 21 minutes. Though the last excerpted line is pretty hilarious, this prediction of the "portaphone" of the future is surprisingly accurate.

A hand-held, completely portable telephone will make it possible to place calls while riding in a bus, walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant. Developed by Motorola, Inc., the first "portaphone" system will be installed in New York City by 1976.

The portaphone looks like a fat Princess phone or a high-fashion walkie-talkie. Weighing less than three pounds, the unit can dial and receive calls anywhere within FM signal range of the system's computer-controlled receivers.

As the caller talks over the portaphone, his voice is radioed to the nearest receiver. The signal is relayed into a central computer, then fed into conventional telephone lines. The computer can track the speaker as he moves about the city, switching the conversation to different receivers to maintain a loud and clear connection.

A portable phone user can contact any conventional or portable phone. The initial cost will be $60 to $100 per month, but as the market demand increases, the costs are expected to go down.

The FCC has proposed 115 MHz of spectrum including channels 73 through 88 for two-way applications. Portaphone will probably operate in that frequency range.

Each telephone has a pushbutton keyboard; it's dialed like a conventional pushbutton phone.

Motorola sees a bright future for the portaphone: "We expect there'll be heavy usage by a widely diverse group of people -- businessmen, journalists, doctors, housewives, virtually anyone who needs or wants telephone communications in areas where conventional telephones are unavailable."

For a while at least, the portaphone will remain a business tool or luxury item. In time, however, portaphones will get smaller and cheaper, just as transistor radios have.

One day you'll call almost anyone, anywhere. You could have instantaneous contact with your doctor or the police. People might be brought closer together than ever before -- with the potential to be in voice contact with others. Next step: two-way wrist radios?

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Thursday
Jan032008

Motorola's 2000 A.D. (1990)


We learned a lot from our look at the 1990 Motorola concept video 2000 A.D. Specifically, we learned that every concept video needs a businessman who must be bothered while on the beach. We learned about the politics of radio spectrum allocation. And we learned about moustaches, don't forget about the moustaches.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

 

See also:
2000 A.D. (Part 1, 1990)
2000 A.D. (Part 2, 1990)
2000 A.D. (Part 3, 1990)
Pacific Bell Concept Video (1991)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)
Flowers by Alice (1992)
Apple's Knowledge Navigator (1987)
Apple's Grey Flannel Navigator (1988)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 2, 1993)
Vision (Clip 3, 1993)
Starfire (1994)
GTE's Classroom of the Future (1987)

Wednesday
Dec192007

2000 A.D. (Part 3, 1990)


Today, the thrilling conclusion to our Motorola saga of (paleo)future communications.


See also:
2000 A.D. (Part 1, 1990)
2000 A.D. (Part 2, 1990)

Thursday
Dec132007

2000 A.D. (Part 2, 1990)

Tuesday
Dec112007

2000 A.D. (Part 1, 1990)

Wednesday
Mar142007

Motorola Television Revisited (1961-1963)

Today we have more Motorola television ads from illustrator Charles Schridde. If you recall, this series ran in Life Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post from 1961 until 1963 and was immensely popular for its elegant, futuristic look.

According to the book Window to the Future by Steve Kosareff the ad pictured on the right was the very first and "public response was so great that Motorola asked Schridde (even after he left the ad agency that Motorola had hired) to continue with a series of similar illustrations for its home electronics advertisements."




See also:
Motorola Television (1961-1963) 22 Feb 2007

Tuesday
Mar062007

Mobile Phone Prototypes (1973)

Invention and Technology magazine has a great piece in their Winter 2007 issue about the development of the mobile phone. The pictures below are prototypes developed by Motorola. The "banana" model second from the right intrigues me most. The world would be a very interesting place if mobile phones had never gotten any smaller.