On April 3, in 1973, a man called Martin Cooper crossed Sixth Avenue clutching a telephonic gadget that would change history beyond all imagining. The device was the world’s first handheld cellphone, and Cooper had invited reporters to watch him make its first public call. Even sophisticated [умудрённые опытом] New Yorkers stopped and gaped [широко разевали рты]. This new phone was not only cordless [беспроводной], it was small and light—just 10 inches long and a mere [не более чем] 2 1/2 pounds.
*inch — дюйм (мера длины;?2,54 см)
*pound — фунт (единица веса;= 453,6г)
Martin Cooper, chairman and CEO of ArrayComm [Chief Executive Officer или CEO (дословно — главный исполнительный директор], holds a Motorola DynaTAC, a 1973 prototype of the first handheld [переносной, портативный] cellular [сотовый] telephone, on Market Street in San Francisco on April 2, 2003.
Cooper, who’s now 84 and still working in Silicon Valley[home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, California, San Francisco, the USA], was a former Navy man and engineer who joined Motorola in 1952. He installed two-way car radios and worked on an early pager system for doctors, which required the whole building to be wired. What is more important for the world’s 6 billion cellphone owners, he was invited by the Chicago police in the mid-1960s to improve their heavy “push-to-talk” car phones. Cooper came up with [придумал] a clip-on [прикрепляющийся, пристёгивающийся] microphone that officers could use within walking distance of the car “base.”
“That’s when I really made the discovery that is my mantra [заклинание, молитва] today,” said Cooper. “That people are fundamentally, inherently [по своей природе] mobile, that these policemen were much, much more effective when they could carry their radios with them than when they were trapped [привязаны] in cars.”
At the same time in Chicago AT&T’s Bell Labs [another company] began to develop a cellular network of low-power radio transmitters [передатчики] but its network was intended only for in-car telephones.
In 2008, Cooper remembered how he organized a competition among his designers for the best portable phone:
“We gave them two weeks, and after two weeks I took them all out to dinner and each guy stood up … and presented his version of the telephone and some of them were just beautiful. Some of them were actually suitable for a telephone today. Sliders, folders, just amazing … And we’re talking about 1972 … We ended up picking one that was not all that spectacular, because … even then, the more complicated you make something, the greater the chance it was going to break.”
Fittingly [подходяще, примечательно], Cooper’s famous first call was to Joel Engel, his rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs. And the rest really is history.