The Short Message Service (SMS) celebrates its 20th birthday-- on 3 December 1992 "Merry Christmas" was sent from a PC to a mobile device over the Vodafone UK network.
The idea behind SMS has an even older origin. Back in 1982 the "father of SMS," former Finnish civil servant Matti Makkonen, revealed his idea for a mobile phone messaging service over pizza at a telecoms conference.
Makkonen dislikes the title (since others put the work behind the technology), but allowed for a rare interview on the topic with the BBC-- one done, more than aptly, via SMS.
The interview reveals Makkonen's preference for touchscreens ("Slow enough to think and sometimes even edit what I write"), a passion for the Finnish language (and its 160 characters) and his belief SMS is here to stay, even if in free instant messaging form.
He also insists the actual launch of SMS was on 1994 with the launch of the Nokia 2010, the first mobile phone allowing for easy message typing.