On This Day 16 August

By TheBoldage. Published 2020-08-16
In 1897 the Tate Gallery opened in London; in 1921 the first meeting of the Dail in Ireland; in 1945 Puyi, the last Emperor of China, was captured by the Soviets; in 2017 further destruction of the Maasai houses due to "wildlife tourism"; in 1994 the first smartphone was released - the IBM Simon

Do you remember your first "smartphone"?

The "IBM Simon" was released on the 16th of August, 1994, at a cost of US$1099 (about US$2,000 in 2020). Not only could the IBM Simon make and receive calls but it could send and receive faxes, emails and cellular pages (no, not web pages but messages from pagers!).

It didn't end there though, on the Simon you also had an address book, calendar, calculator, world clock, handwritten notes and a predictive stylus input screen.

You'd better have your charging station with you though as the battery lasted an hour. Don't even think about storing all your music on there - there was 1MB of memory which could be expanded to 2MB.

Other events on this day

  • 1897: Tate Gallery opened in London -1921: first meeting of Members of the Dail (parliament) where they swore allegiance to the Irish Republic
  • 1945: Puyi, the last Chinese Emperor, was captured by the Soviet troops
  • 1994: IBM released the Simon Personal Communicator - the first "smartphone"
  • 2017: Over 100 Maasai houses destroyed by authorities over a border dispute in Tanzania
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