Memorable news corner | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

Memorable news corner

21 August, 2022

Ever wondered how the concept of mobile phones was born many years ago? Today, you can have the whole world in the palm of your hand, thanks to your palm-held device, the smartphone.

There is no argument that smartphones have yielded benefits for more than two billion people around the world. The miracles performed by sophisticated smartphones make our lifestyle smart. Here, I am writing not about mobile phones but about memorable newspaper articles which had been published in the past.

The article titled ‘You will be able to carry phone in pocket in future’ appeared in a newspaper on April 18, 1963. It is obvious that the title too had hinted at the possibility of producing mobile phones in future.

However, going through this piece of writing, we can understand two things. The first is that the writer had not used the term ‘mobile’. The word he had used instead of Mobile is ‘ Telephone’. On the other hand, we cannot come to the conclusion that the term ‘mobile’ was not in existence between the fifties and the sixties because the word mobile was coined by Marcel Duchamp for a Paris exhibition in 1932.

Visual image phone

The second is that this sophisticated mobile phone equipped with a loudspeaker and a Tv camera was in the development stage even in 1963. Mrs. Jean Conrad, commercial representative of Mansfield Telephone Co is holding up the mobile phone in the photograph. As noted by Federick Huntsman, the manager of a phone company, in the near future people will be able to carry mobile phones in their pockets.

“Right now, it is a laboratory development and it is workable, allowing the carrier to make and answer calls wherever he may be. Other telephones of the future include a kitchen loudspeaking telephone and a visual image telephone.

The kitchen instrument can be used as a regular telephone, a loudspeaking phone, if the housewife happens to be busy preparing a meal or as an intercom station for the home. The visual image telephone allows the parties to converse by way of a microphone and loudspeaker while a miniature television camera transmits images. Tv phone also will have a writer’s signature transmission system and a conversation tape recorder.” Indeed, the news of a mobile phone became more intriguing like hot cakes being sold at pavements.


‘Watch Size Telephone Tv Set is Predicted’ was another newspaper article. The interesting fact is how Mark R. Sullivan had described this amazing device by comparing it with a wristwatch worn by a cartoon character called Dick Tracey.

However, Mark’s prophecy about a technologically marvellous device has already come true. At an annual dinner of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Mark had said that the future mobile phones would have more advanced features.

“The telephone of the future will be a combination Walkie Talkie and television set about the size of the radio wrist watch worn by Dick Tracey in the comics.

Further he had said, “The phone of the future will be carried about by the individual, perhaps as we carry a wrist watch today. It probably will require no dial or equivalent and I think that users will be able to see each other if they want as they talk. Who knows but it may actually translate from one language to another.”

My surmise is that Mark had predicted not only about a smartphone but also about WhatsApp, Viber and Messenger which enable us to make video calls.