The Cell Phone: Marty Cooper's Big Idea

Father of the Cell Phone Talks about the Past and Future of Cellular Communication

CBS All Access
This video is available on CBS All Access
At a news conference inside the Hilton, Cooper introduced his gadget and encouraged reporters to try it out.

"The first reporter I talked to actually called her mother in Australia. And she was astounded when her mother answered. She couldn't understand how this little phone could talk halfway around the Earth," Cooper explained.

"Little phone? What are you talking about?" Safer asked, referring to the first cell phones size and heft.

"Well, relatively small. I mean, after all, it only weighed two and a half pounds," Cooper replied.

So where is cell phone technology going?

"I think we are just barely scratching the surface," Cooper said.

Take the issue of health and fitness: a workout fanatic if there ever was one, Cooper says the day is fast approaching when your phone - or something like it - will be checking your vital signs, day and night.

"The health care industry is gonna be revolutionized because you will have sensors at various points on your body measuring different things. And a computer somewhere, or maybe a doctor, will be examining you all the time," Cooper predicted.

It's not that far-fetched. Health monitoring was a major theme at that recent wireless convention in Las Vegas.

"The concept of the annual physical examination, it's almost worthless because looking at your body at a point in time doesn't really tell doctors very much at all. But if you could measure these things all the time you can predict heart failures. You can predict diabetes. And you could prevent all those things," Cooper explained.

From his hideaway overlooking the Pacific, in Southern California, Cooper contemplates a society where such familiar touchstones, like money and credit cards, simple human contacts are things of the past, replaced by wireless devices that will rule our lives.

"Isn't there almost a Brave New World sensibility behind all of this being connected? What does it do to our privacy?" Safer asked.

"Sorry. Privacy is a thing of the past," Cooper replied.