g  e  n  u  i  n  e  i  d  e  a  s
  home   art and
writings biography   food   inventions search
wrist phone

Program #1285
August 1996

ambience: wrist phone call


Portable phones have transformed the way that we communicate with each other. You can routinely phone home from cars, trains, or just walking in the street. Coming up - the next incarnation of the telephone. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience wrist phone call

It might sound like an ordinary phone, but it looks like a bulky wristwatch. Greg Blonder, a researcher at ATT Laboratories helped develop this prototype.

"There are two reasons we were sure everyone would end up carrying a telephone with them at all times someday. The first reason is, the cost and the size of electronics is getting smaller every year, as everybody knows, both the electronics that's inside your personal computer, as well as the electronics that's inside your car are small and affordable. But the second reason is, people really like to own their own their own things."

ambience ringing

"We looked at a lot of places to put a phone. We looked on the wrist, in your belt, around your neck, on your lapel, even in your shoe like Maxwell Smart. We just couldn't imagine someone outside on a cold day with their pocket ringing, trying to rip off their coat to take a call. The wrist turned out to be the best location."

The wrist communicator has two overlapping bands. So when the phone rings...

ambience ringing

...the outer wristband can be unfurled so that the speaker at the end fits into the palm of your hand. You place your hand against your ear, and speak into the microphone still attached to your wrist. The prototype works like a standard cordless phone, so it can't stray too far from its base.

"If it were a cellular phone, the small battery that you can fit in a watch doesn't have the power to compete against car phones. And so to make a really high quality cellular phone work, we're going to have to wait for either more efficient cellular standards, which are already on the way, or until they build the cell sites closer and closer together."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, makers of better things for better living.



Contact Greg Blonder by email here - Modified Genuine Ideas, LLC.