- Marty Cooper, considered the father of the cell phone, told CNBC at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the next generation of devices will be "embedded under the skin of their ears".
- Such devices don't need to be charged because "your body is the perfect charger," says Cooper.
- Cooper said he never thought cell phones would become the laptops they are today.
BARCELONA, Spain — Instead of being rectangular black slabs, cell phones will one day be devices embedded in our skin, according to cell phone inventors.
"The next generation of cell phones will fit under the skin of their ears," Marty Cooper, who is credited with inventing the first cell phone in 1973, told CNBC in an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.
Such devices don't need to be charged because "your body is the perfect charger," says Cooper. “When you eat, your body creates energy, right? »
"You eat food, your body produces energy. It takes power to run this headset," he added.
His vision hints at a possible future phase of humanity in which our bodies will be augmented with powerful chips and sensors.
Several startups are developing technology aimed at integrating computers with human brains, such as Elon Musk's Neuralink.
According to Cooper, today's smartphones are too complicated with too many applications and screens that don't fit the curves of the human face.
"Anytime I'm on the phone and don't have a receiver handy, I have to put this flat cloth on my crooked head [and] hold my hand in an awkward position," he says.
The smartphone market has stagnated in recent years and there is a sense in the industry that manufacturers are struggling to come up with innovative designs.
The current proliferation of mobile phones has created a number of problems ranging from social media addiction to invasion of privacy.
"Privacy is a very serious issue, addiction is a problem," said Cooper, admitting to the crimes of his creation.
But he struck an optimistic tone about the future, hinting that technology's best days in fields like education and healthcare may be yet to come.
"I have unshakable faith in humanity," Cooper said. "I look at history and all the advances we've made with technology, and some people know that."
"People are better off now. And they are living longer. They are richer, they are healthier than before. We have had our ups and downs. But overall, humanity is getting better."
Cooper received a lifetime achievement award at MWC this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first telephone call on Sixth Avenue. Using a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X from the popular film Wall Street, he beat AT&T's main competitor, Joel S. A shout out to Engel
Cooper said he never thought cell phones would become the laptops they are today.
"50 years ago it was a very primitive time," he said. "No internet, no big integrated circuits, no digital cameras."
"The idea that one day your cell phone would become both a camera and an encyclopedia never crossed our minds."
However, he added: “We know it's important to stay connected. And we joke that one day when you're born, you get a phone number. And if you don't answer the phone, you're going to die."
"So we knew that one day everyone would have a cell phone. And it almost did."
According to Cooper, the world now has more cell phone subscriptions than people, with two-thirds of the world's population owning personal cell phones. "The telephone is an extension of a person's hand," he said.
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