Mobile communications: A booming market, built on tiny devices

istockphoto.com/Erik Khalitov

istockphoto.com/Erik Khalitov

While sales of desktop PCs are declining, smartphones and tablet computers emerge as a booming market. E-book readers are giving printed books a run for their money, while movies and music are available for download and streaming. What are the inventions fueling this digital revolution? A selection of winners and finalists of the European Inventor Award.


German computer scientist Philipp Koehn succeeded in “teaching” computers to translate texts without creating gibberish. The power-efficient “e-ink” displays invented by Joseph M. Jacobson and Barrett Comiskey from the United States are powering e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle. First invented by Swiss physicist Martin Schadt, liquid crystal displays are now a standard in flat-screen television sets around the world. The revolutionary USB computer cable standard invented by engineer Ajay V. Bhatt forever changed the way of connecting peripheral computer devices. Did you know that 95% of all smartphones are powered by the compact and powerful ARM processors created by British inventor Sophie Wilson?

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