The man who invented the first cell phone doesn’t think Apple’s newest iPhone is anything to get excited about.
Martin Cooper, who previously worked at Motorola and demonstrated his invention back in 1973 by placing the first ever cell phone call from a Manhattan footpath, said he thinks the iPhone 6S is “boring” when speaking to GeekWire.
It’s not that Cooper doesn’t think the new iPhone is an improvement — it’s just that he doesn’t believe the improvements make the iPhone “essential.”
Here’s what he said to GeekWire:
They’re struggling each generation to come up with something interesting. It’s a little bigger, has more pixels, more megahertz and people couldn’t care less. I think the future is the software. They have to figure out ways to make the phone essential.
Speaking more broadly on the smartphone industry in general, Cooper noted that the services we use on our phones are more about convenience than necessity.
We’re still in the game stage. Even though you can’t get along without your smartphone, there are not many essential services on your smartphone. They’re mostly convenience; you could live without it. Essential means you die without it. A gadget that warns you’re about to have a heart attack — that’s essential. We’re about to go into that phase with smartphones.
Some smartphones, including the latest ones from Samsung such as the Galaxy S6, come with heart rate monitors built in that help you keep track of your pulse. There are also apps such as Instant Heart Rate that allow you to measure your heart rate on any phone. The app uses the flash from your phone’s camera to measure colour changes in your fingertip every time your heart beats.
Cooper also thinks virtual reality will become a big part of computing in the future. He said virtual reality is moving at a faster pace in terms of development than cell phones did in their early days.
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