Cellular telephones have helped remove dictators from power, transformed developing nations, and become a corporate battle ground—but they have also changed our social behavior. (Credits)
Greenbank, West Virginia created a mobile free area to avoid interference with a radio telescope. Residents discuss advantages and disadvantages of living without cell phone service.
The mobile phone provides communication freedom—but it also increased work expectations and affects social interactions. Young people average 7.5 hours of daily media use.
Telephones were installed on trains in Germany in the 1920s and in cars in the U.S. in the 1940s; size and capacity were limiting factors. The development of cellular networks allowed users to share channels.
AT&T worked on infrastructure and Motorola focused on developing handsets. Executive Martin Cooper made the first cellular telephone call in New York 1973—revolutionizing telecommunication.
Mobile technology demand extended from car phones to personal use but regulations restricted development in the U.S. Scandinavian countries agreed on network standards and established the first functional roaming system.
The Scandinavian cellular system paved the way for the industry giant. Former CEO Jorma Ollila led the way from analog to digital mobile phones; the Nokia 2110 introduced text messaging in 1994.
In mid 1990s, young people started using mobile phones as a private communication channel. Radiation risk and incorrect grammar use became a concern.
Camera phones emerged in Japan in 2000, paving the way for social media. Citizens began recording news events such as the 2005 London Underground bombings.
Police and BBC employees recall the 2005 London Underground bombings. Camera phones allowed bystanders to contribute content to news reports. View user generated footage of the aftermath.
Steve Jobs assembled workers for a classified project in the mid-2000s; learn about Apple's secrecy during the iPhone development. An employee describes how competition was used to produce multiple design options.
Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007—but the model wasn't ready. He had to use a specific demonstration order to avoid a software crash; engineers in the audience drank to calm their nerves.
The iPhone introduced innovations that set industry standards, including touch screens. Many competitors dismissed it as a novelty but Jobs' design prevailed on the market.
Localization and meetup apps such as Grinder allow users to find dates in real time and space. They reduced the stigma of online dating, but created a "shopping" mentality.
Mobile devices yield physical location data. The WiFi function can be illegally intercepted and mined, if left on in public. Businesses use WiFi sensors to collect statistical customer information.
Hackers can target WiFi functions for data mining and identity theft. The Ukrainian government used mobile technology to identify Maidan Square protesters.
Screen time erodes social interaction; studies show we spend 119 minutes on our phones daily. A Seattle "detox" facility helps users learn to function without communication technology.
Internet "detox" program participants discuss technology abuse. Mobile device addiction develops from over stimulation of brain pleasure centers. Many young people seek approval by posting selfies—a strategy that can backfire.
Mobile device addicts prepare to limit use. Some experts believe social interaction is compromised, but others believe internet technology benefits outweigh drawbacks. Greenbank residents believe their community is healthier without cell phone reception.
The Mobile Revolution (DVD)
Time: 58 Minutes