Exclusive interview with "father of SMS" Matti MakkonenTopic: Esendex news
Today, SMS turns 20 years old. The first SMS message was sent on December 3, 1992, by an engineer named Neil Papworth. The message “MERRY CHRISTMAS” was sent to his colleagues at Vodafone.
But the origins date back further to Matti Makkonen. He originally suggested the idea at a telecoms conference in 1984, when he put forward the idea of a mobile phone messaging service.
He is dubbed the “father of SMS”- a title he dislikes because of the work others did to develop the technology – he rarely gives interviews.
However, he made an exception for the BBC. He commemorated the 20th Birthday via a rare interview (appropriately via text message), where he discussed txtspk, keypads verses touchscreens and the next big ideas for the future).
Makkonen didn’t make any money off his idea, telling the BBC that he didn’t think the invention could be patented.
He also lived up to his title as the “reluctant father” by making it clear that it wasn’t a single achievement.
“I did not consider sms as personal achievement but as result of joint effort to collect ideas and write the specifications of the services based on them,” he told the BBC.
As for text speak, Makkonen refrains from creating abbreviated messages himself, saying;
“my passion is to write correct language (Finnish), using all 160 characters.”
Makkonen also told the BBC that he likes to take his time when composing a message on his mobile device.
“I love touchscreen,” he texted the BBC. “Slow enough to think and sometimes even edit what I write.”
Take a look on the BBC website to read the full interview.