Before IPhone and Android Came Simon, the First Smartphone
Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 30/06/2012 21:33
In the 1995 techno thriller, The Net, Sandra Bullock plays a software programmer who unwittingly uncovers a plot to gain access to the world's most sensitive computers. The bad guy, played by Jeremy Northam, tries to kill Bullock literally and virtually -- by stealing her identity. (For a hacker, Bullock's character is remarkably dim; when she finally catches on to what's happening, she whines: "Our whole lives are on the computer.") Apple gets the customary product cameo as the movie imagines a world in which ordering pizza online or accessing a database from a laptop computer in a car is commonplace.
A second product has a more prominent role, only there's no logo or corporate sponsor credited for the cell phone used by Northam's villain. In the final chase scene, he makes a call simply by pressing his phone's touchscreen. When The Net was made, there was only one cell phone with a touchscreen and sufficient smarts for one-touch dialing: the Simon Personal Communicator. By the time the movie hit theaters that summer, the phone was off the market after its brief, six-month run before consumers. At least Simon left a more lasting impression than the movie did.
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