1983, Motorola DynaTAC 8000X
“Old things are precious, aren’t they?” muses the MIT Media Lab’s John Maeda. “First objects are always daring.” The 8000X, the first commercially available cell phone, took Motorola more than a decade and $100 million to develop. Today, with the heft of a dumbbell, it is an object of nostalgia.
“I have a collection of old Motorola phones,” says Maeda. “I like looking at these things. But I don’t miss them, because they’re large and clunky. You look at old TV shows and they pull out these shoe-size things. They make a better phone, because they’re just phones. Now phones are GPS and Web enabled with a heart-monitoring system just in case. I keep old cell phones on my windowsill to look at. I should probably throw them away.”