The cell-phone

Star Trek Communicatorcell shaped like a phone
One of my teachers recently pointed me towards this fun little documentary called “How William Shatner changed the world“. In it, Shatner explains how the concepts created for Star Trek laid the basis for a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy. For instance, during one segment Motorola’s Martin Cooper, proclaimed inventor or the cellphone, claims he got the idea for the phone from those cool communicators captain Kirk and his crew always carried around.

But it seems he has changed his story a little bit, because now he claims his vision was to embed them into our bodies all along. No need for a battery, or turning it off for that matter, because it’s even powered by your own body. It just goes to prove that the ubiquitous computing vision is alive and kicking:

“Just think of what a world it would be if we could measure the characteristics of your body when you get sick and transmit those directly to a doctor or a computer,” he said. “You could get diagnosed and cured instantly and wirelessly.”

Although it may sound like there are quite some technical humps to be taken, the problem, according to Cooper, lies with the people. They are “too conservative”.

Tijmen Schep

Tijmen Schep (1981) is a Dutch theorist on new media and digital culture, focussing on wireless media and public space. This theorizing is brought to life in the foundation which promotes wireless media art by organising wireless festivals and events.

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Artistic director of