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GCN : June 2013
[30 YEARS OF GOVERNMENT IT] THE SMART PHONE: 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING Smart phones have in just a few years revolutionized how public-sector agencies do business. But they didn't just spring from Steve Jobs' mind --- the technology behind them can be traced back to GCN's beginnings, and further. Here's a brief look at what's behind a smart phone's key components. MAGIC ACT: To get an idea of just how disruptive smart phones have been, here are a few things they are helping to make disappear: Music players, radios, cameras, video cameras, planners, music and image storage, boarding passes, phone books, rolodexes, instrument tuners, maps, pay phones, calculators, books and, for some users, PCs. CAMERA: First digital camera: 1975. NASA developed new ways of miniaturizing them in the '90s. GPS RECEIVER: GPS became fully operational in 1995; its highest-grade signals were opened for civil use in 2000. NETWORK: The rst analog cellular system (1G): 1978. 2G rocked the '90s, 3G (mobile broadband) appeared in 2001, and by 2011 was giving way to 4G (WiMax and LTE). SYSTEM-ON-A-CHIP: Moore's Law (1965) = tiny processor cores, GPUs, other components. DRAM: Once the province of PCs and supercomputers, now you can get 4G, 8G and even 16G. BATTERY: A prototype lithium ion built in 1985, hit the market in '91. STORAGE: Since the '90s, Flash memory cards have grown to 128G of storage. SENSORS: Gyroscopes, accelerometers, barometers, thermometers, hygrometers, etc. NASA began miniaturizing microsensors for weather research in '92. 42 GCN JUNE 2013 • GCN.COM TOUCH SCREEN: The rst multitouch device: 1982. The HP 150: '83. Touch screens took a leap forward in 2007 with the rst iPhone.