Segments in this Video

Introduction: The Smartphone (01:17)


Two thirds of humans use smartphones, and they have become dominating factors in our lives. Engineers develop telepathic designs, using brains as direct interfaces.

Ancient Encryption System (03:56)

A Greek historian observed Roman inefficiency of sending long distance messages during battle. He devised the Polybius Square, a numerical grid allowing full alphabet utilization, signaled by torches.

Telegraph (07:04)

The death of his wife inspired Samuel Morse to invent a way to send messages quickly over long distances. Charles Jackson introduced him to electromagnets. Morse developed a dot and dash system representing letters.

Telephone Controversy (07:09)

Alexander Graham Bell studied vocal mechanics, designing the Electrical Speech Machine to function as an eardrum. He filed for patent in 1876, on the same day Elisha Gray submitted for a similar design. After several lawsuits, the Supreme Court favored Bell in 1888.

Radio Communication (06:14)

Inspired by Hertz's article explaining how electromagnetic waves traveled through air, Guglielmo Marconi devised wireless transmission using two circuits, a switch, and bell. By 1900, thousands of ships were equipped with the invention.

Securing Government Communications (07:52)

Homer Dudley invented the Vocoder and Voder, attempting to break human speech into components for transmission efficiency. During World War II, the United States military integrated the technology into Sigsaly, an encrypted telephone system developed by Alan Turing.

Hedy Lamarr Inventions (08:56)

Eager to support Allied war efforts, Lamarr invented the radio controlled torpedo and developed frequency hopping and the spread spectrum guidance system. The Navy turned down her patents, but adopted the technologies during the Cuban missile crisis.

Scaled Down Technology (04:28)

Texas Instruments released the transistor radio in 1954, inspiring Jack Kilby to innovate more complex systems in miniature. He devised the Integrated Circuit, revolutionizing electronics and triggering microchip development.

Technology Present and Future (05:15)

In 1973, Motorola invented the cellphone. In 1997, Philippe Kahn sent the first digital picture through one, innovating the camera phone and proving that diverse data could be transmitted through the device. Engineers now develop technology with biological sensors, interfacing with brain waves.

Credits: The Smartphone (00:29)

Credits: The Smartphone

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Episode 6: The Smartphone (Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World)

Part of the Series : Breakthrough: The Ideas that Changed the World
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Dial in to the history of the smartphone, from its roots in Morse Code to 1997, when the first picture was transmitted over a cellphone. Plus, see how the next generation of smartphones will allow us to communicate through them just by thinking.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL188590

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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