While out shopping with my kids last week, the toy phones caught my eye. I let the kids play with a toy guitar while I rearranged them in roughly chronological order. The original candy bar phones are still available (far left), but I couldn’t find a phone with a cord anywhere in the store. At the high tech end, Fisher Price now sells a “Smilin’ Smart Phone” that looks much like an iPhone.
This little evolutionary history lesson seems to show a movement away from the mechanical and physical toward something that mimics it. Early phone had rotary dials and wires, then they moved to buttons, then they lost the wires, and now they’ve replaced the buttons with a screen that mimics the original buttons. The phone mimics human speech and now the phone has a screen that mimics our interaction with the original mimicker – Inception!