Dick Tracy and Cellular Smartwatches

Posted on November 30, 2015 by Robert Ringer


Now that we’re in the early stages of cellular smartwatches, I thought you’d enjoy taking a trip back to the early 1980s and reading the first article I wrote about cellular telephone, a technology that the average person had not yet even heard of at the time. As you can see, the tongue-in-cheek title of the article alludes to iconic cartoon character Dick Tracy, who began wearing a “two-way wrist radio” clear back in 1946. (Also, note cartoon on page 2.)

As optimistic as I was about cellular technology at that early stage of its development, I could not have imagined what it’s become today — a technology that’s an absolute necessity for most people, and nothing less than an addiction to untold millions of youngsters and adults alike.






Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

11 responses to “Dick Tracy and Cellular Smartwatches”

  1. TN Ray says:

    Have loved your books, since Winning Through Intimidation. Sorry, I was unaware of The Tortise Report and other writings since the last book I read (Million Dollar Habits). I recently discovered RobertRinger.com and have been enjoying your insights and articles once again. Today's Dick Tracy article and copy of your 1983 Tortise Report are a treat.

  2. Reality Seeker says:

    I actually remember purchasing my first "bag phone" on sale for under $500 back in 1994. It was one of those Christmas sales. And that's when I knew for sure that the market was about to become affordable for the average guy. Before that, in 1987, a friend of mine invited me over to his estate in the Catskills for a demonstration of an IBM computer that ran Bill Gate's MS-DOS. It was impressive. It even had a basic flight simulator program. I knew then and there the world was about to finally become something out of a chapter of George Orwell's 1984.

    Sometime around 1988 or 89 the kids started to go crazy over a Nintendo game called "Mario Brothers". SoI sat down a took a turn. The learning curve for me was about 30 min.. After that experience I knew what was coming. Today, video games have become a multi-billion dollar market. Some of the latest platforms ( like Ebox One and Play Station 4) offer games so realistic that you're almost absorbed right into a virtual world. You are the avatar. You become your own hero or villain. You become the savior or the evil mastermind. One of the latest video game releases, "Fallout 4", is actually better than watching any movie. The nuclear apocalyptic game actually has a better dystopian storyline than any movie out there. And it's much more addictive than TV. I can see why the kids like it so much. Therein lurks the danger. All of this new technology is like a two-edged sword, but, still, I wouldn't trade it for the 1950s lifestyle for any love nor money. The kids need to reach out and go forward into the future.

    Humankind must move forward out into space. Technology is how that shall happen, unless, of course, the dimwitted hegemons in Washington turn earth into a real-life Fallout 4. This is a real possibility. And my Christmas wish is that people start to take this threat seriously. Don't let the power-mad sociopaths in Washington destroy humanity's future.

    Video game platforms, smart phones and personal computers are all stepping stones into a world where science fiction becomes reality.

  3. Chris Chris Busch says:

    I was a subscriber to the Tortoise Report and remember reading this one those many decades ago. So glad to find the Tortoise alive and well online!

  4. Raj Chakravorty says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. Its remarkable you were able to "see" the future in '83.
    Are there any more gems like this hidden?

  5. Jon says:

    I was an avid reader of Dick Tracy. When he came out with the wrist radio, I was age 11. My immediate fantasy was to live long enough to see one in real life. Then in the mid 70s, a fellow came into my office with a briefcase. He opened the case, took out a gigantor object which he set on my desk (turned out to be a phone). The briefcase itself turned out to be the sending/receiving/battery/antennae unit with continuous flashing lights. The phone never rang while he was in my office so I didn't get to see it in action. Little did I realize at the time that I'd just witnessed the first iPhone.

  6. Gary Waltrip says:

    I used to be a subscriber to the Tortoise Report!

  7. Chris Chris Busch says:

    So Bob, did you make some money in cellular? Has to be a story there somewhere. :)

  8. You completed numerous fine points there.

  9. david says:

    Very interesting article.
    Pitbull blue