1st Prototype of Camera Acquire Module

Megapixel transfer stand

In 1988, the first samples of small solid state RAM cards started to become available. The camera team asked me to create a mockup of an interface that would provide access to the images on the card. The prototype above, was created using SuperCard, and is the very first prototype of an acquire module for a digital camera.

As I was demonstrating the prototype to a couple of the engineers and technicians from the camera group (who were obviously working on a digital camera at this point), I showed them the thumbnail view of all the images on the card. One of them pointed out that they didn't know how they would create those thumbnails, because the images were very large.

Immediately I thought of our SV9600 Transceiver, which transmitted images over phone lines. The SV9600 unit would send a low resolution version of the image first, for confirmation, before sending the whole image. Basically, a sub-sampled thumbnail image, using a feature of the jpeg image format. I asked why not just use the same algorithm as the SV9600? Rich, the chief camera engineer told me to, "Go write up the patent". Little did I know how far reaching that patent would be. If you own a digital camera or a camera phone, it uses my patent.

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Peter's Digital Photography Journey @ Kodak