Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Break STEM Work

The world’s first “smart”-phone

It was in the late 90s when, fresh out of university, I got my first real career job at now defunct Geoworks based in Alameda, CA (their Seattle resources taken over by Amazon.com since). They built the embedded platform on Unix for various mobile devices including PDAs, beepers and such (remember those?). I was on the most visible, high-stakes project with Nokia to build the world’s first smartphone that had all the bells-and-whistles one could imagine at the time: contacts, browser, world clock, calendar, etc. All in a small brick 🙂 that was also a clamshell. It worked only on GSM cell net…which was only available in Europe at the time. It was made for the european market. We had set up an underground GSM network in Dallas, TX to test it out in the US. I was the key QA engineer on that and proud of it 🙂 The official product name in Europe was Nokia Communicator 9000.

Here are some snapshots of the reference hardware which I still have and amuse to…

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