Does a SoulPhone™ Seem Possible to You?
I (Mark Pitstick) was born in 1953, not long after dinosaurs became extinct. At the age of ten, our phone number had only five digits. My grandparents had a “party line” but it wasn’t as much fun as the term suggests. If someone else was using the phone, you had to wait until they were done to make your call.
My dad worked for the telephone company for 35 years, so I was especially aware of how phone technology progressed. Back then, telephone operators were called “switchboard operators” because they had to manually connect the two parties who wanted to speak. It was very technical stuff as shown by the instructions in the adjacent photo.
When you were away from home, the only way to make calls was with a phone booth. Local calls only cost 10 cents whereas long distance calls required a pocket full of change. You had to put in more money when your time was almost over if you wanted to keep talking. (By the way, the one shown in the photo was the deluxe model used in nice hotels. Most were outdoors and you had to stand.)
Dick Tracy, a cartoon character detective, had a futuristic wrist watch that worked like a phone and TV. I thought it was a great idea that would never happen because it seemed so impossible. After all, telephones were big bulky things that required a wired connection. And TVs were really huge and needed electricity and an antenna.
Oh yes, those antennas. My dad actually had to climb an extension ladder to the top of our two story home and manually rotate the antenna. I stuck my head outside the window and yelled up to let him know when the TV station we wanted to watch was clear. Those of you who are Baby Boomers or older know that I’m not making this up.
That was 1963. I would have considered you crazy if you told me about a personal assistant device, a "SmartPhone" that would be introduced in a mere thirty years. But it’s true. IBM came up with a prototype mobile phone that incorporated PDA features in 1992.
SmartPhones are old news now. We take it for granted that a hand-sized, lightweight, and wireless device can make phone calls all over the world and allow us to see each other while talking. In addition, it takes wonderful photos, serves as a GPS, allows texting, stores photos, and – at last count – conducts approximately 137, 000,000 other functions.
A similar and amazingly rapid development is occurring again. We invite you to examine the information on this website with an open-mind.
The transition from party lines and switchboard operators to the SmartPhone in just 30 years was
amazing. The development of the SoulPhone to allow communication with postmaterial persons seems even more amazing . . . but it's happening.