From Cave Paintings to Modern Smartphones

Date: 2020-02-24 11:00:06


Most people don’t really appreciate how simple it is today to stay in contact with their loved ones. All you have to do is take your smartphone and choose one of the numerous messaging apps. But how did people keep in touch before smartphones with face IDs and multi-megapixel cameras appeared?

Around 30,000 years ago closer to the end of the Stone Age, people lived in caves and knew nothing about iPhones. But they knew how to draw on the walls. They created a system of symbols and left these rock paintings in caves to communicate with each other. Smoke signals were a cool way of long-distance communication. In Greece, they developed a system of alphabetical smoke signals around 150 BCE!

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Smoke signals 0:52
Runners! 1:12
The pigeon post 1:40
Drums 2:07
Morse code 2:20
The ancestor of the modern-day cell phone 3:16
The first commercial cell phone 4:28
The first portable cell phone 5:12
When the first smartphone saw the light of day 5:54
The first splash of color 6:23
The era of selfie obsession 7:08

Preview photo credit:
THESSALONIKI, GREECE JUNE 15, 2011: Three hands holding a flaming the Olympic torch on arrival at Thessaloniki for fights special Olympic: By Ververidis Vasilis/,
Animation is created by Bright Side.

– Greeks and Romans had some of their provinces so far apart that no smoke signal could be seen from such distances. That’s why specially trained and lightning-fast people ran from place to place to deliver messages.
– Pigeons were also great at delivering messages! The pigeon post itself appeared in ancient times, but some enthusiasts keep using it these days as well.
– In some areas, people communicated with the help of drums. These drums were so powerful that their sound could be heard in villages miles away.
– Morse code! This method of communication was invented by Samuel Morse at the beginning of the 19th century. All letters of the alphabet were encrypted as sets of dots and dashes.
– The ancestor of the modern-day cell phone appeared in Sweden in 1960. It was a far cry from your super-slim smartphone: the device was incredibly bulky and heavy.
– The very first real cell phone call was made in 1973.
– The next model was released only 10 years later, in 1983. It was the first commercial cell phone.
– In 1989, the very first portable cell phone, Motorola MICROTAC 9800X, appeared on the market.
– A super-important breakthrough happened in 1992: the first-ever text message was sent! It read “Happy Christmas!”
– The year 1994 — and the first smartphone saw the light of day! The phone, which was called IBM Simon Personal Communicator, was more like a planner than a cell phone.
– Step by step, cell phones started to become slimmer and acquired new functions.
– In November 2000, the device called J-SH04 was launched by the Sharp company. The phone had 110,000-pixel built-in camera and 256-color display.
– In 2007, first smartphones with touchscreens appeared on the market.
– The slimmest smartphones today are less than one-fifth of an inch thick.

Music by Epidemic Sound

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