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RETRO TECH: DYNATAC

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Marques: Before cell phones, it was a very different world Couldn't really walk around

You were kinda stuck to wherever the phone was Absolutely no privacy, and anyone could pick up the phone and listen to your conversation Woman: Growing up, I always really wanted a cell phone, but my parents wouldn't let me have one Getting my first cell phone was freaking mind-blowing One of my earlier cell phones was, like, a flip phone

There is something really satisfying about cracking it open – ( snapping ) – The cell phone gives you this sense of independence I thought I was the coolest I thought I was a super tech girl Oh, my God

My first cell phone was the ultimate freedom Marques: I'm Marques Brownlee, and I review dope new tech But on this show, I'm rewinding the clock to discover the tech of the past that changed our lives forever This is "Retro Tech: DynaTAC" Hey, what's up, guys? MKBHD here

As you already know, I'm pretty into tech, and specifically a lot of smartphones My first ever cell phone was this little blue Samsung flip phone, probably back in, like, 2005 And even that was 20 years after the first ever cell phone the DynaTAC 8000x was released So this is not the original box it came in, but inside this box is the OG DynaTAC Let's get into this

That's a lot of leather, and you actually get a little leather smell I hope that means it's real leather This is the DynaTAC in here Good old Velcro Whoa

That is crazy And this is your antenna-looking thing It has a digital screen The buttons are pretty soft It really does have some heft to it

It'd be kinda funny to see how many phones today would equal the thickness of the DynaTAC One, two, three Five, seven, ten of today's smart phones thick But that's how far we've come If that isn't Moore's Law for you, I don't know what is

This battery comes off "May explode if disposed in fire" Slide that back on So these phones operated on the very first wireless network ever created, which we'll now refer back to as 1G 1G networks are not still operational

They haven't been in, like, 20 years, but I'm kinda thinking of things that I think people would say on 1980s phone calls Hey, you gonna be at jazzercise today, Bill? My fax should have gone through by now Hopefully you got that – Hey, are you home yet? – Yeah, I just got here Can you set up the VCR to record "Golden Girls" on the VHS today? – For sure

– I'm probably gonna miss it Bill, relax I sent the fax You'll get it soon, okay? It's hard to imagine a time now without a cell phone in every pocket So I need to know, how did the DynaTAC create an entirely new world of portable communication where it didn't exist before? First of all, welcome

Thanks for joining me – Thank you, my friend – I want to start by asking you to check underneath your chair I can do that, I guess Oh! That's cra– yo, I'm done

I'm done Look how big this antenna is This is huge Man, this phone is mad heavy Like, if you ever got into a problem, you could throw it at somebody and actually win a fight

Like, this thing is just baller It's so cool! Marques: So I want to take it back before the days of any cellular phones What was that world like? ( phones ringing ) Lisa: Before there were cell phones, you could make a phone call from home before you left your house But if there was an emergency or if your car broke down, you had to use a pay phone – This is an emergency

Give me the local fire department paramedics Until the car phone came out – ( phone ringing ) – Brad: Motorola was this tech company, and what Motorola was developing were these car phones The car phone was the first mobile phone, and they were only mobile in the sense that you could fit them into your trunk Announcer: More and more people have a phone in their car, like this unique cellular portable made by Motorola

Michael: They were massive, massive pieces of equipment that drew a lot of power Announcer: And they are a hot item A year from now, every metropolitan area of the nation will have cellular phone service Brad: So, the challenge with the tech was how to fit all of the crap in the trunk of the car, the antenna on the top of the car, into an actual portable handheld cell phone There was a team within Motorola led by Dr

Martin Cooper Dr Cooper emerged as the leading proponent of, "Hey, people are gonna want to buy portable cellular telephones We need to build them And we need to build them in a massively short amount of time

" Because they knew that there was gonna be competition And I think one of the engineers said, "Oh, that sounds great I'll get around to that" And Dr Cooper said, "You don't understand

We have to build this in six weeks" What's crazy is they were able to do it Whoa Marty Cooper and his team at Motorola were in a race against rival phone company Bell Laboratories to come up with the world's first cell phone So, who better to tell that story than the legend himself? Martin Cooper: At the beginning, it was a great curiosity

I don't think anybody ever believed that everybody would have them– except we did What was the first phone call that you made after the successful creation of that first DynaTAC prototype? I must tell you that I hadn't planned on who I was gonna call But walking down 6th Avenue in New York, and it occurred to me, "Why don't I call my counterpart?" His name was Dr Joel Angel at Bell Laboratories And I said, "Hi, Joel

This is Marty Cooper" And he says, "Hi, Marty" "Joel, I'm calling you from a cell phone But a real cell phone A handheld personal portable cell phone

What do you think of that?" Silence on the other end of the line I could only imagine what he was thinking, and I suspect he was gritting his teeth And that's when things took off Did you ever imagine the technology advancing this far? Not a chance Today, there are more portable phones in the world than there are people

So we never could've imagined that Amazing I can remember the first phone I ever got, the first smartphone I ever got, the first time I ever pointed a camera at myself and talked about how much I loved my new phone All that stuff comes from the DynaTAC, so I feel like I owe you a thank you, too You're very, very welcome

Marques: The DynaTAC prototype was nothing like anyone had ever seen or sold before The end result was 175 pounds, stood 13 inches high, stored 30 numbers, took 10 hours to charge for about 30 minutes of talk time, and cost a hefty $3,995 Adjusted for inflation, that's over $10,000 today By today's standards, this might not seem impressive, but in the early '80s, the DynaTAC was a groundbreaking piece of technology, and the very first of its kind

And in March of 1984, the DynaTAC 8000X officially hit the market And this is it This is a portable cellular phone When people got hold of the first portable cellular telephone, they didn't want to put them down They became addicted to that convenience

I think it's the greatest thing that I've ever had, and it's something that I wanted somebody to come up with for a long time Brad: So, after the DynaTAC comes out, cell phones do blow up, but it's a limited blow-up because these phones were so expensive The prevailing attitude at the time was how are you gonna get people to buy a $4,000 handset? This is gonna be a toy for the rich and nobody's gonna buy the thing ( tires squeal ) Brad: But once pop culture started pushing this stuff out, people were buying these phones to show out Very famously, of course, the film "Wall Street" featured the phone, and I remember thinking as a kid, "Wow, I really want one of those

It looks like it makes you cool" I don't care where or how you get it, just get it And there was "Saved by the Bell" The Zack Morris phone I'm, I guess, a little young

I don't think I've ever seen "Saved By The Bell" – Who is Zack Morris? – What? And what is the Zack Morris phone? All right "Saved By The Bell" was an iconic mid-'90s television show where Zack Morris essentially terrorizes everyone in the school He would have this phone, making calls and doing deals, and essentially putting his friends in very precarious predicaments all the time I'd like to order a large pizza and the hottest peppers you can find

When kids saw Zack Morris using a cell phone, we talked about that phone Like, "Yo, we want that" Lisa: That was when we really started to see the DynaTAC 8000X entering the mainstream for the everyday person Marques: Four decades after the DynaTAC 8000X was first released, mobile phones have become the most used electronic device in the world But these last 40 years haven't been without some questionable designs along the way

So, we have with us some of the most interesting and unique designs from that time, and we also have fellow YouTuber and friend Austin Evans to help take a look at those Austin has reviewed tech for over a decade on YouTube, and he especially loves all things cellular to this This is "Dope Or Nope" All right, let's take a look at the first one This is called the Motorola StarTAC Rainbow – Is this from the '90s, perhaps? – This is from 1998

Go ahead and flip this open Oh, wow It's actually original – Yeah – I think '90s are still cool

There was a matte black version that you didn't get You got the rainbow version – What? Wait – That is sick It looks like you made it out of Play-Doh

I like the look of this phone – It's so '90s, it's so cool – And you got plenty of– Oh, God, you're probably about to mount this to your belt I am– you read my mind – Aw

– Pretty sure I count as a dad now, right? – That's the SIM card – This is the SIM card? Oh, it even has the cut-out Oh, wow See, but it feels so che– ( gasps ) ( laughs ) Sorry, I'm getting a call One moment

– Are you getting a call? – Just let me make sure I'm– – Yeah – He's got it No, the GameBoy's gonna be big, yeah Yeah, we should buy Marques: All right, so I think we should place our bets on the price, 'cause I don't know the price of this one

I think this is $400 Oh, I was gonna say $400 I agree Okay The price tag is on the bottom of the box

( laughing ) Starting price, $1,000 This cost $1,000? For a thousand bucks to feel this cheap is simply unacceptable Good-bye Gosh I hate talking to you

That's a nope So, this next one is called the Siemens Xelibri 6, and all I know about it is that it was targeted for the female demographic And that is it It's like a compact, right? Uh, what is that? Like a– like a makeup thing This is that, but without the makeup

I think if we boot this up, we can see what the screens are about ( music playing ) Oh, oh Okay, I'm losing all my respect for this phone So, we have what I assume is signal flashing here, and then your battery life is your heart So, dude, I have one heart left

So many bad ideas in such a small space Pictures Oh, let's look at pictures Cakebmp

What if these are all pre-loaded photos that you could send to people because they were already in your library as a reaction, kind of like the way we use emojis right now? – Hmm – That's cool But, like, what is– what is this? What is this? Like, who am I, really, right now? This is clearly designed by a bunch of dudes who are like, "Oh, you know what women are gonna love? This" There's a lengthy list of possible pros and cons, – mostly cons for this phone – Mm-hmm

This is definitely, I'm gonna say, missing the mark So, the Xelibri 6, that's a nope Austin: That's a nope for me All right, so, this next one comes to us from Nokia This one was dubbed the Lipstick Phone, and that is

– Oh, word – this here This is totally from "Star Wars" You mean, like a lightsaber, kind of? Austin: Yeah, yeah! ( gasps ) A camera! – Is that a camera? – Yes! Whoa, it's got a click wheel So, dude, this thing is actually really cool

The UI must be wild Okay, I think we have to turn it on Can you find a power button is the question? – What about this one? – There's, like, zero descriptors on this at all There's not, like, one word besides the word "Nokia" on it Marques: Wait, what is happening right now? Okay, so, think 2000s

Think Is there a button on the side? There's a couple buttons, but none of these are screaming – power button at me – Wait, no Austin: Hey! Marques: The red button turns it on Oh, look at that

We've got a full color display Wow So you're just meant to use it in landscape Marques: But I need to see what this camera looks like I mean, I'm sure it's not going to be great

It's 2004, like, whatever Set and – Not bad, not bad

– Other phones have T9 You have a keyboard for a reason You don't have a keyboard on this phone, so if you're texting, you're texting with that wheel – Good luck – Okay, just take a step back

– Mm-hmm – Okay, put yourself in 2004 Look at how cool this looks I just don't think I can give this dope – because it's not– – Really? Maybe because I'm not a huge lipstick guy I don't know what it is

Yeah, Nokia 7280 for me is a nope Well, it gets a certified dope from me Awesome, well, thank you for taking that journey with me, Austin – Of course, man Any time

– I appreciate it "Dope Or Nope," signing out Marques: Since the DynaTAC's release in 1983, thousands of unique cell phone models have circulated the world And in my personal pockets alone, I've owned and tested several hundred different models But this cell phone boom wasn't immediate

It took years after the DynaTAC's release for the cost of cell phones to drop down far enough in order to be accessible for most people So, in the mid-1980s, that's when a much cheaper device was introduced to the mainstream Enter the pager Announcer: Get the pager It's affordable, it's portable, from Motorola

Boom The pager dropped Michael: And a pager was just a little box you wore on your belt, and it would buzz when people called a specific number, your pager number So if a friend was at a payphone, they could call your pager number and then you would call that payphone back You were immediately reachable

You didn't have to go home to get your messages from your answering machine Gerard: So, now that the pager dropped, it's like, yo, it ain't a cell phone, but it's still something that we can use to communicate with A lot of people in the hood– like, hip-hop, music, entertainers, once it got into that world, everything started to explode and change You can't be a hip-hop fan and not know the beginning of Biggie Smalls' "Warning," which is just the beep ( beeping ) – And then – ♪ Who the hell is this ♪ ♪ Paging me at 5:46 in the morning ♪ ♪ Crack of dawn and now I'm yawning ♪ When that happened, you had to have a pager

Man, gotta spin the chain on that, baby Lisa: Pagers were everywhere, and people developed their own language to communicate through pagers Michael: You don't have to put a phone number in there, you can put in whatever numbers you want So people started sending coded messages Lisa: It kind of lead to this whole vernacular very similar to the way we have our own language when we text people today with emojis and bitmojis and things like that

The pager gave birth to texting Marques: So, in the '80s and '90s, pagers were a convenient option because phone booths were on every corner But today, in New York City, there are only three phone booths left So I'm here at one of them at the corner of 90th Street and West End Ave, where I'm waiting for a page from fellow YouTube creator Sara Dietschy

On her channel, Sara's always tackling new tech, so hopefully we can figure out the pager together I'm leaving my phone number I guess now I have to wait for him to call me back ( beeping ) That's jarring Oh, I hold it down to see the number

– ( dial tone ) – Dial tone – Hello? – Hey This is the first page I have literally ever sent This is the first page I've ever received, also Voice: Please insert 25 cents for another three minutes

Sounds like a rip-off Before this call disconnects, let's just meet at the studio and figure out this whole pager thing ( click ) I hope she got that All right, so, we're back at the studio I'm just kind of curious in general, like, what do you know about pagers? I've seen it in one episode of "Friends" when Ross got a pager when his kid was being born

So, for, like, emergencies, right? – "Call me" – Important messages – Yeah – Something like that So, I've been told that there's a certain thing called pager codes

Back in the day, people would send each other strings of numbers as a messaging system, – kind of like an early text – A text message, okay Marques: In codes What we're gonna try to do is decode what sort of message we just received We have the answers here, and we have our little – whiteboards here

– Feel like I'm back at school We'll try to see if we can figure out, against each other, if one of us can get it right You're going down I mean, I'm not confident at all, so I– Me neither, so I don't know why I said that I'm just gonna go ahead and give it a shot

– Ooh – ( beeping ) – That's so loud – Okay – Can you not? – And awful – Sara: 707

– Oh, that's easy Done Yes I finished that first Yeah

Yeah – Dang it! – But I got it first Hold on, so you're telling me people in the '80s were the ones who came up with LOL? Yeah, that predated texting, I guess – Wow – Next page

Next page, please ( beeping ) – I just want that to stop – Mm-hmm – 187 – Interesting

– 187 – Seven I feel like these codes, there's so much more thought that's put into it than, like, LOL – You're distracting me from my answer – I'm so sorry

– Ready? – Yep I'm the late one And I got that by– when I turned it upside down, I got L-8-1 Yeah, this is truly horrible What did you get? "I am hungry

" – Like, "ate," food – Yeah And then I would probably text this to people But then, like, who is hungry? I got the text from an unknown– an unknown source is hungry I don't think either of us is right

No, I don't think so either All right "I hate you You're dead" – That's so mean

– "You're–" What? What? Sara: "Police code for murder" Why would anyone know that? "Uh, we got a 187 over here on Northwest Broadway Street" That's what people are paging each other? – Yep – I guess it give me an appreciation for how creative you had to get to send a message – ( beeping ) – This is the last one

– This is the last page – Yep – Okay, one, dash – Dash I love how we want to do it at the same time

One– 1-177155-400 – So that's probably three words – Ooh! – Do you know what it is already? – I have no idea This is something you would page someone I'm pretty sure I'm wrong

I just wrote this down as a bail-out answer because I am so unconfident – Ready? – Yep

I picked the police codes category I picked the turning it upside down, and the only thing I saw was "ill" – So, "I'm sick" – Ill? Where's "ill"? Oh, 177? – Wait – That's "L-L-I

" – I am just confused – Upside down and backwards – I am utterly confused – So, look, we're both probably wrong – Reveal! – This is the final answer

– "I miss you" – What? I miss you I miss you? Oh! Wow It was spelling it out right-ways It was spelling it out

It was right in front of our face The 177 makes an "M" – Now it's so obvious – Yes now that you can see the "M" But thank goodness for technology, because this is insane Marques: I think we both learned what it was like – to have a pager in the '80s – Yeah

It's kind of funny This might even be further ahead of its time than the DynaTAC was, just because if you have a quick message you want to say, like, "Hey, you're dead to me," you might just make a little text message out of it instead of calling them up and saying it Thank you for taking the journey with me Thank you so much, Marques – I'm glad we did this

– Sara: Same Marques: Of course, nowadays you can send texts and make phone calls on one device, but the ways in which we use our cell phones are still evolving to this day, 40 years later What is the legacy of the DynaTAC? And then what is the legacy of pagers? Lisa: Mobile phones are the most used electronic device in the world Without the DynaTAC, without this idea that you wanted to take your phone calls with you, who knew if there would be the idea that we wanted to take everything else with us, too? Gerard: The DynaTAC created a new level of relationships Relationship happens through connection, so the better you can create something that allows us to connect better is groundbreaking

Michael: Compared to the DynaTAC, I think pagers have a less visible history, but they pioneered this era of text first Nobody talks on phones anymore Everyone texts, and pagers were the first embryonic form of that Brad: The age breakdowns work as well, where it's, like, younger kids are just texting, and then our old parents always want to call us for no good reason Today, we look at this and say, "What a brick

" But you can't have our current information age without the technological innovation that the DynaTAC started It's a massively important piece of history Not just communication history– history Marques: So, wow, this was such a fun one to throw back to, because this one I feel like is the legacy that I'm most familiar with Before mobile phones, before this communication that has spread so far, the amount of people you could have a conversation with or could connect with at all was much more limited

But now that almost everyone can have some sort of mobile phone, it sort of shrinks the world, and allows you and everyone to communicate with more people than ever before at any other point in history So thank you for your dedication, Dr Marty Cooper Thank you, Motorola Thank you, DynaTAC 8000X

And thank you for watching Peace

Source: Youtube

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