Cell Phones

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Cell Phones

Perhaps more than any other commonly used technology, the cell phone represents the ultimate tech mashup. When it was released in 1973, the Motorola DynaTAC portable phone (fondly nicknamed "the brick") was thought revolutionary -- and it was. Even though it weighed 2.5 pounds (1.13 kilograms), held enough juice for just one hour of talk time, could only store 30 phone numbers and cost nearly $4,000, the brick began a process of miniaturizing communication technology that's still in motion today.

But phones have become much more than a way to communicate. Now, phones are also TVs, calculators, radios, recorders, maps, video game systems, alarm clocks, photo albums, music players and notepads. A typical smart phone today mashes together technologies like a GPS chip, gyroscope, accelerometer, light sensor, camera, vibrating motor, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi antenna, compass and, of course, a CPU that conducts this mini tech symphony and puts as much processing power in a user's hand as would have filled a room in 1973.

The mobile mashup looks set to continue well into the future with solar-powered phones, projector phones and even phone screens that can be controlled through eye movements in a process that mashes together humans and high tech, which is the most enduring mashup of all.

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