Cave Drawings to Cell Phones
March 28, 1995: Kodak Releases the DC40
Have you noticed the impact of digital photography on our society? Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter…
Instantly recording ourselves, the world around us, history, events. Though humanity has been recording our world since we began painting on cave walls (top photo & left), digital changed everything. Almost everyone on the planet carries a digital camera these days.
Kodak’s DC40 was among the first consumer digital cameras sold. The very first digital camera for the consumer-level market was the 1990 Dycam Model1 (it also sold as the Logitech Fotoman ) and there were other players out there, but it was the Kodak DC40 and Kodak’s marketing that is largely responsible for popularizing digital photography.
Kodak entered into an aggressive co-marketing campaign to promote the DC40 and to help introduce the idea of digital photography to the public. Kinko’s and Microsoft both collaborated with Kodak to create digital image-making software, workstations and kiosks that allowed customers to produce Photo CD Discs, photographs, and add digital images to documents. IBM collaborated with Kodak in making an internet-based network image exchange. Hewlett-Packard was the first company to make color inkjet printers that complemented the new digital camera images.
Kodak developed the world’s first digital camera in 1975. Actually it was the brain child of inventor and electrical engineer, Steve Sasson working for Kodak at the time. Watch his story in the short accompanying YouTube clip. Sasson was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2009. This is the highest honor awarded by the US Government to scientists, engineers and inventors.
It was not until 1995 that the technology became widely available to consumers and the DC40 was a groundbreaking camera. This trailblazing camera paved the way for the digital camera phenomenon. Considering that as of June of 2013 it was estimated that 91% of adults own a cell phone… that’s a lot of digital cameras out there.