Mobile telephone

The brick. It wasn’t a construction medium, or mobile app game, it was the affectionate term given to the Telecom Walkabout, which hit the market in 1987. Australia’s first mobile telephone call was made a few years earlier between Telecom executives in August 1981 on a $5,000 car phone that weighed 14 kilograms and could store just 16 numbers.

The Walkabout and subsequent commercial products were slightly less hefty, forgoing the handled briefcase design of early examples. The first generation of the technology offered voice-only communications; however, the second generation, brought about by the digital network of 1993, introduced SMS text messaging and internet access, mainstays of contemporary mobile communications. And where would we be without that peculiar language of the 1990s, textspeak: IMO txt msg was gr8…brb. Future generations can ask their AI voice assistant for translation.

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