Brentwood Communications Ltd presents a visual evolution of handheld communication, tracing its development over nearly a century. Starting in 1920, the first public radio demonstration occurred in Melbourne, Australia. By 1923, the first portable radio was invented, coinciding with the airing of the first radio station.
In 1940, Motorola invented the SCR-300, the first device to be named a 'walkie-talkie'. Seven years later, in 1947, Bell Laboratories introduced the first transistor radio. The innovation continued with the introduction of the first miniature transistor radio in 1951.
By 1962, the first AM portable receiver hit the market, and in 1963, the emergency broadcast system was introduced. Edwin Armstrong conducted the first large-scale field tests of FM radio technology in 1934. Motorola's mass production of the 'handie-talkie', the SCR-536, began in 1941, and in 1958, they introduced the Motorola Motrac vehicular two-way radio.
The evolution of handheld communication devices progressed rapidly, with the Panasonic RJ-3, a small, low-powered handheld radio, introduced in 1964 alongside table and clock radios. Sony revolutionized the market in 1985 by introducing a radio the size of a credit card, the smallest to date. That same year, the UK saw its first mobile phone call.
The 1990s marked significant advancements with the first commercial SMS message sent in the UK in 1992, the introduction of predictive text for mobile phones, and the availability of the first DAB radio in 1999. The new millennium brought innovations like WAP browsing in 2000, the first full-color mobile phone displays in 2001, and the launch of the first 3G service in 2003 for faster mobile browsing.
The early 2000s saw the launch of the first camera phone and the availability of apps in 2002, followed by the introduction of the Oregon Slimline walkie-talkie in 2005, which was just 16mm thick. The first touchscreen phone hit the market in 2007, and the following year saw the introduction of the Android operating system and marketplace.
In 2009, LG introduced the first wrist-watch phone, and 2012 marked the launch of the UK's first 4G service, offering broadband-comparable speeds. This timeline by Brentwood Communications Ltd highlights the incredible journey of handheld communication devices from basic radios to sophisticated, multi-functional smartphones.