• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

The Mobile Phone Museum traces the history of mobile phones • The Register


A highly mobile museum with over 2,000 exhibits is due to take to the streets and online this year to show the evolution of the mobile phone from 1984 to the present – and its founders are seeking donations to fill a few gaps in the collection.

“I have been collecting phones for over 25 years. Over the past three decades, the mobile phone has become an integral part of the social fabric and the diversity of designs, from the first cellphones to the latest smartphones with flexible screens, is something to behold. “, explained museum founder Ben Wood in a prepared statement.

“When the online museum launches later this year, we want it to be a rich learning resource and a way to inspire young people to create their own amazing mobile innovations in the future.”

To support this opening, Wood and his colleague Matt Chatterley clamored for sponsorship – and found their first big name in the form of UK mobile network Vodafone.

“We hope that by supporting Ben and Matt’s unique museum collection – the most comprehensive collection in the world – we can help people remember the devices they’ve had over the years,” said Max Taylor , consumer director of Voda. sponsorship, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, “and be excited about what the devices might do for them in the future.”

vintage Ericsson GS88 Penelope

The vintage Ericsson GS88 “Penelope” – does it have one in a (large) drawer?

The plan is to make the collection available online from November this year, and then organize physical museum tours in the near future – but the collection, while impressive with over 2,000 unique handsets, doesn’t is not yet complete.

Wood and Chatterley are looking for 11 holy grail items to add – including the Nokia N950 slide-out smartphone, the unusual rotary-style Samsung Serene, the vintage Ericsson GS88 “Penelope”, the rotating Motorola Aura, and the nearly transportable Mobira. Senator of 1981, the predecessor of Mobira Talkman of 1984.

“The term ‘personal computer’, I think, has become a lot more personal than anyone ever thought, in terms of feeling nostalgic for them,” said Jason Fitzpatrick, founder of the Center for Computing History in Cambridge. The register the orientation of the museum.

“A PC is something that sits on your desk and that you build a relationship with because you’re doing your thesis while you’re in college, or you’re developing games for it, or you’re writing software – you’re doing it. anything, but you get on with it.

“Cell phones, in some ways, could be even more [personal], because there is obviously a very close personal proximity to your phone, it is always in your pocket, you live your life through it, you text everyone, you send messages, talk to people, go on the Internet thanks to it. In some ways, for some people, they could be even more personal than a computer, because let’s face it, in future generations computers will be phones, you will put your phone on the desk, it will connect to your HDMI screen. wireless or whatever and you add a keyboard and off you go.

“Future generations may well view phones the same way a person in their 40s, 50s right now would view their computer.”

“We have cell phones all over the museum,” Fitzpatrick added, “and it’s always going great, it’s very nostalgic – even the youngest are starting to come in here and go” oh, that’s the phone that I first had! ‘”

“I think there is a huge educational benefit to a museum focused on cellphones,” added Robert Dowell, educator at the National Museum of Computing. “A lot of people will have a common frame of reference and there will be a lot of nostalgia in it as a whole – ‘this is the first cell phone I have had’ – and they will be able to compare with what they ‘J ‘ve got today, which makes it exciting.

“We see here, people introduce themselves and look at the WITCH [the Harwell Dekatron, a computer from 1951] and you tell them it’s doing eight to 10 instructions per second, and yet my iPad Pro has a processor that does 11 trillion operations per second. So this concept of contrast and context, that’s the important thing for all these museums and I think it would be an exciting thing to see the change in such a short time because if you think about it, it’s only in the last 30 years that mobile phone technology has really become ubiquitous. “

The online version of the Mobile Phone Museum will go live on mobilephonemuseum.com on November 23, 2021; the dates and locations of the pop-up physical visit were not available at the time of writing. ®


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