invention Archives


Father of SMS passes

Posted on June 30, 2015  /  0 Comments

Only 23 years? It’s now in decline, but the idea of sending short text messages will live for ever. Matti Makkonen, the reluctant “father of SMS”, has died at the age of 63. Makkonen pitched the original idea for SMS in 1984, while working as a civil servant, over a pizza at a telecoms conference in Copenhagen. His work is widely regarded as being critical to its success, though Makkonen did not receive any money from the invention, because he did not apply for a patent.
Haven’t seen the movie yet, but it is always nice when brains go with beauty and skill. The last time this combination was present in Hollywood was in the 1940s, when Hedy Lamarr was both inventing and acting. Her contribution was an antecedent to spread spectrum. The most celebrated invention of frequency hopping was that of actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil, who in 1942 received U.S.
Like no one asks who invented the mobile, few ask who invented the mundane components of the computer that allow us to do what we do routinely. The mouse for one (try using a modern computer without one!). Doug Engelbart, a man I am proud to have been in the same room with, was the inventor of the mouse. Forty years of his vision was celebrated earlier this month at Stanford.