Best Buy surprised Super Bowl viewers this evening with a 30-second ad titled Phone Innovators featuring some of mobile technology’s heaviest hitters. Backed by an airy, instrumental soundtrack, the spot features Philippe Kahn, creator of one of the first cameraphones; Ray Kurzweil, the inventor of text-to-speech (and contributor to numerous other innovations like optical character recognition); and Neil Papworth, the man who sent the world’s first SMS message. The ad also features Paul and David Bettner — the creators of Words with Friends — sitting on a plane and being made to put away their phones when the seatbelt light turns on, as well as Kevin Systrom, the creator of Instagram, Jim McKelvey, the creator of Square, and two of the founders of Shazam, Chris Barton and Avery Wang.
Best Buy’s also releasing a longer three minute spot titled Mobile Innovators that has each of the men describe their inventions, as well as their motivations, in a little more detail. While we're just as crazy about football as the next site, it's nice to see the nerds getting some shine amid all the beer swilling and chest bumping.