Cómo se creó la primera cámara para teléfonos celulares (En Español)

Entrevistamos al francés Philippe Kahn, que cuenta los detalles del prototipo que en 1997 le permitió compartir la foto digital del nacimiento de su hija y los desafíos que enfrentó la tecnología para posicionarse en la industria móvil

Por Guillermo Tomoyose | LA NACION

Philippe Kahn bajo la lente del teléfono de su hija Sophie, nueve años luego de ser retratada por la primera cámara para un celular. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn
Philippe Kahn bajo la lente del teléfono de su hija Sophie, nueve años luego de ser retratada por la primera cámara para un celular. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn

En las cuatro décadas de vida del celular, existe una prestación que, más allá de los adelantos que experimentaron los diferentes modelos lanzados en la última década, está presente en la demanda de los usuarios: la cámara de fotos. No importan tanto las limitaciones técnicas: el uso de la lente de los teléfonos móviles predominó por encima de los modelos digitales compactos y semiprofesionales por la facilidad de apuntar, disparar y compartir de forma instantánea una imagen. Y porque es una cámara que siempre se lleva en el bolsillo.

Desde los sucesos de la primavera árabe, los improvisados paparazzis digitales de la vía pública y hasta eventos masivos, con la foto de la asunción del papa Francisco con miles de celulares en alto como muestra de la preferencia de los teléfonos con cámara por sobre otros equipos, esa premisa fue el aliado perfecto para el crecimiento explosivo y la consolidación de servicios como Flickr , Facebook, Twitter e Instagram , entre tantos otros.

Y también lo fue para Philippe Kahn hace más de 16 años, cuando en 1997 este ejecutivo y emprendedor francés decidió crear una cámara de fotos que se comportara de esta forma. Utilizó la óptica de una cámara Casio QV-10, un teléfono Motorola Star Tac y desarrolló el software adecuado para compartir con sus amigos, mediante un mensaje de correo electrónico, la primera foto digital de su hija.

“La visión que tenía en aquel momento era crear una cámara para un teléfono celular que combinara la modalidad apuntar, disparar y compartir de forma instantánea”. Eso es lo que en la actualidad podemos ver en un smartphone en combinación con diversas plataformas sociales, como Flickr, Google o Facebook”, cuenta Kahn, al ser consultado por LA NACION.

“La clave del despegue de esta tecnología fue el despliegue de las redes móviles inalámbricas”, agregó este emprendedor francés, que fue CEO de Borland, una de las rivales de Microsoft durante las décadas del 80 y mediados de los 90, hasta que decidió mudarse a San Francisco, Estados Unidos.

Su trayectoria también estuvo marcada por otro hito en el mundo tecnológico: en 1973 fue el programador de Micral , la primera computadora producida de forma comercial (y no mediante kits de armado) basado en un microprocesador Intel, el modelo 8008. Incluso se anticipó a la mítica Altair, el equipo que marcó el inicio de Microsoft en el mundo del desarrollo de software.

Conocida por haber sido la primera persona retratada por la lente de un “camera-phone” , como prefiere denominar Kahn a estos teléfonos móviles, años más tarde su hija invirtió los roles y le hizo un retrato a su padre con la lente de un celular , ese pionero de la fotografía digital que tiene un iPhone como su equipo de uso diario.

 

El lento despegue de la cámara del celular

Sophie, la hija de Philippe Kahn, fue la protagonista de la primera foto tomada por la cámara de un teléfono celular en 1997. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn
Sophie, la hija de Philippe Kahn, fue la protagonista de la primera foto tomada por la cámara de un teléfono celular en 1997. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn

En una primera etapa, Motorola trabajó con LightSurf, una de las compañías que fundó Kahn, para desarrollar un teléfono celular con cámara, pero el proyecto se canceló en 2001.

A pesar de estas investigaciones, los primeros modelos no surgieron en Estados Unidos, sino en el mercado asiático. “En 1997 el escenario móvil no estaba listo para esta propuesta. Mi primer cliente vino de Japón con la compañía J-phone en 1999, con el servicio ShaMail (Picture Mail, la traducción en inglés) junto a un teléfono Sharp equipado con una cámara. Motorola llegó al mercado con su propia propuesta mucho más tarde”, dijo Kahn.

El crecimiento de esta tecnología en el mercado asiático tiene sus motivos, con firmas como Samsung y Sharp que se disputan la creación del primer teléfono con cámara, una función que hoy en día se encuentra presente tanto en los smartphones de última generación como en los modelos más modestos. De hecho, la red de NTT DoCoMo de Japón fue una de las primeras plataformas en ofrecer Internet móvil en 1999.

En este punto, Kahn cree que en un futuro la clave de la evolución de este matrimonio entre el teléfono móvil y una cámara no reside en la cantidad de megapixeles de una foto, sino en un mayor ancho de banda, el ingrediente clave para que el fenómero de las fotografías digitales lograra su impacto más allá de los mercados orientales. “La cámara del celular es una combinación de una infraestructura para compartir de forma instantánea las fotos y un sensor integrado al equipo. Eso es lo que a un usuario de cualquier parte del mundo le importa”.

Programador de una de las primeras computadoras comerciales y ex-CEO de Borland, Kahn ahora se encuentra abocado en el desarrollo de sensores biométricos no invasivos. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn
Programador de una de las primeras computadoras comerciales y ex-CEO de Borland, Kahn ahora se encuentra abocado en el desarrollo de sensores biométricos no invasivos. Foto: Gentileza Philippe Kahn

Esa modalidad, que Kahn vislumbró hace más de quince años, comenzó a ser visible en Flickr, que tiene a la línea de teléfonos iPhone entre los tres dispositivos más populares en la plataforma de Yahoo! . Y el fenómeno no quedó allí, con iniciativas como Instagram, que ya cuenta con 100 millones de usuarios y que fue adquirida por Facebook en 1000 millones de dólares. La compañía cofundada por Mark Zuckerberg explota al máximo esa unión entre el componente social y la publicación de fotografías, con más de 300 millones de imágenes subidas de forma diaria a su plataforma.

“¡Es fabuloso que el ecosistema de los teléfonos con cámara esté creciendo de esta forma!”, dijo Kahn sobre esta tendencia.

El trabajo de este ex-CEO de Borland, que fue a Estados Unidos para poner a prueba el prototipo de celular con cámara, ahora se encuentra con una iniciativa diferente, pero que se mantiene dentro del mundo móvil: los sensores biométricos no invasivos que interactúan con los teléfonos inteligentes.

Desde su compañía FullPower , Kahn cuenta con la tecnología MotionX, empleada en la aplicación Nike+ Running , utilizada por los aficionados al entrenamiento físico, y también adoptada por Jawbone , la empresa que lanzó al mercado la pulsera UP para la medición de signos vitales, cuyos datos registrados luego son transferidos de forma inalámbrica a un smartphone para procesar los parámetros y llevar un control diario de las comidas, actividades físicas y de sueño.

“Esta tecnología permitirá que las personas puedan mejorar su calidad de vida, mejorar su sueño y tener más actividad física con pequeños cambios en la conducta diaria”, dijo este pionero francés del mundo tecnológico, que sigue sin alejarse de los sensores y de los teléfonos inteligentes y que fue uno de los rostros de la campaña de Best Buy en el anuncio del SuperBowl el pasado año.

 

Philippe Kahn en el anuncio del SuperBowl (en inglés)

MotionX Announced As Top 25 All-Time Paid App for iPhone

SANTA CRUZ, CA–(Marketwire – May 7, 2013) – As the Apple® App Store approaches 50 billion downloads, Fullpower® is proud to share that MotionX®-GPS Drive was just announced as one of the Top 25 All-Time Paid Apps for iPhone®.

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Important Links:
App Store Top 25 All-Time Paid Apps
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/MotionX
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MotionX

About Fullpower and the MotionX Technology Platform
Founded in 2003 by a world-class team, Fullpower’s MotionX technology platform leads the wearable technology revolution. The MotionX Technology Platform is a suite of tightly coupled and integrated firmware, software and communication components that are the building blocks for new breakthrough non-invasive, wearable wireless devices. With a broad IP portfolio including several dozen patents, the MotionX Technology Platform powers leading solutions from companies such as Nike, Jawbone, Apple, Comcast, Pioneer, JVC, and others. Fullpower showcases its MotionX Technology Platform via its iPhone and iPad applications, which lead the iTunes store in the Medical, Health & Fitness and Navigation categories.

Inventor Philippe Kahn on Audacity, Talent, and Luck

An email interview with the serial entrepreneur behind the technology inside the Jawbone Up fitness-tracking wristband.

Lewis Schiff, Inc.com

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In 1983, Philippe Kahn emigrated from France to the United States with just $2,000, and a software program he co-created called Turbo Pascal. The company he built around that program, Borland International, sold for $75 million in 2009.

As a Silicon Valley pioneer, he’s been known for developing cutting-edge products such as one the first camera phones and, more recently, the technology inside Jawbone’s “Jawbone Up” fitness tracking wristband. Today, he’s founder and CEO of Fullpower Technologies.

Inc. Business Owners Council’s Lewis Schiff recently interviewed Kahn by email:

You are known as one of the swashbuckling entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley. In my book, Business Brilliant, I wrote about one of your early business adventures launching Borland. When you arrived from France with no money to market Turbo Pascal, you relied on a high-stakes ruse to fool the leading computer magazine, Byte, into extending you credit in order to pay for advertising. What other bold business tactics have you used?

Another story, and perhaps a more important event as it put me in contact with the key technology influencers of the time, is my first press conference. It was at the Las Vegas Comdex show a few months [after I convinced Byte magazine to run my advertisements on credit]. I asked the–now famous–casino mogul Sheldon Adelson for credit for a small booth and a press conference. He said, “if you can’t afford to pay me upfront, perhaps you should ask McDonald’s.” That wasn’t meant seriously, but I thought about it and I set up my first press conference in Las Vegas at McDonald’s! Ten journalists came and among them, Jerry Pournelle, who wrote my technology up and got me started with orders pooring in. Jerry became a sort of father figure. And I was star-struck. I loved his book, The Moth in God’s Eye.

That’s an amazing story of business guts.

I didn’t have a choice. I had to get creative. What else could I do? I’m not a business guy; I’m a technologist. My family was blue collar. We had a cabinet shop in a part of Paris where we needed to fend for ourselves. If we didn’t make or sell a piece of furniture, there was no pocket money. That was my business school. In my family, I had no choice but to get straight A’s in math and science, which opened doors for me. Dropping out was not an option.

Until I came to the Silicon Valley, I never quite knew that I had a mind for business. My mind is that of a scientist and technologist by training who knows that lasting value comes from technology, intellectual, property, and patents. But it’s the same thing as my family’s cabinet shop. People from fancy neighborhoods would order custom armoires and dining room sets because of my grandfather’s cabinet-making skills. That paid our rent. He was a great artist. He could make anything. We got to install furniture in amazing Paris apartments. I always wanted to be like him: a great craftsman. So, like his skill was with woodwork, mine became technology invention and innovation.

Would you say that you built your businesses through your talents? Your vision? Or your salesmanship?

It starts with hard work, of course. That’s a given. Luck first, vision second, and skills third. If I was a great salesman, I would have built Oracle or Microsoft. I wasn’t. So I built successful smaller technology leading companies. With the camera phone, I learned that it was best for large established companies to sell and market our innovation. Now I realize this approach complements what we do. We do this with companies such as Nike, Comcast, Pioneer, JVC, and others. I should have partnered earlier and more with sales/marketing people like we do today: Our latest partnership where we invented and created the end-to-end Jawbone Up wearable device for Jawbone is a success with iPhones and Android devices. The Jawbone team is the best at packaging, sales, and marketing. That complements perfectly our innovation, technology, patent, and IP portfolio. It’s the mythical “win-win.”

What are you really good at?

I’m a practical inventor, technology visionary, and I make things work with the components that I have. I’m good at creating a practical future like the camera phone or the “quantified self” (the technology inside the Jawbone Up). I’m an excellent team player and leader and I never give up. I take the best care of my team. I’m not good at sales pitches, corporate-IPO presentations, or marketing spin. I am not a very patient person as I want results fast.

How did you discover what you’re good at?

Perhaps that is what we call maturity, knowing what we are good at?

As you were coming up the ranks did you spend time doing things that you’re not good at?

Yes, I ran a public company that I had founded, for 12 years, with more than 3,500 employees, and I had to do a lot of corporate stuff. I could do it and I did but I didn’t like it. I had no passion for it. Without passion it’s just not worth it. I have passion for technology and invention. There are plenty of great managers.

Does “luck” play a role in your success?

Yes, the harder one tries, the luckier one gets. Luck can be fragile. Luck in life is infinitely precious. I feel incredibly lucky.

 

The original article can be read here:
Inc.com/lewis-schiff/philippe-kahn-inventor-turbo-pascal-jawbone-up.html

Santa Cruz tech company founder forecasts revolution in health sciences

Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ — Fullpower Technologies, a Santa Cruz company behind the award-winning technology in iPhone and iPad applications that monitors sleep patterns and physical activity and provide GPS locations, services and directions, recently announced new patents that are shaping the next generation of wearable medical devices.

“The next social paradigm-shift is noninvasive wearable wireless medical devices and applications,” said Philippe Kahn, founder and chief executive officer of Fullpower. “… Dick Tracy had a watch that did everything. The key is real inventions with real innovation.”

Click here for the full article

 

Fullpower® Receives Key Patents Covering MotionX Technologies For Wearable Non-Invasive Medical Devices

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 7, 2013) – Fullpower® today announced it has received a collection of patents covering key breakthrough technologies for wearable non-invasive medical devices.”The next social paradigm-shift is non-invasive wearable wireless medical devices and applications,” said Philippe Kahn founder and CEO of Fullpower. “It’s all about invention, innovation and IP. The combination of synergistic inventions and innovation are game-changers.”

 

 

An Example related to outbreaks, epidemics and the optimal use of pharmaceutical drugs such as Tamiflu®

The patent for invention number 8,187,182 outlines a method and apparatus using sensor fusion for accurate activity identification, and the patent for invention number 7,705,723 outlines a method and apparatus to provide outbreak notifications based on historical location data. Leveraged together, a device containing multiple sensors to collect patient-state information, geospatial data, and other sensor data may be used to calculate information about the active state of the user that is more accurate than would be possible using standalone sensors. This data may in turn be used to issue accurate and effective outbreak notifications.

For example, If an individual is identified as a point source of disease, the patented system can backtrack all potential contact points for the affected individual and notify anyone who was potentially in close contact. Furthermore, the data collected can be used to identify areas that may be affected, paths of intersection, quarantine, distributions of medicine such as Tamiflu® (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), along with a map of the outbreak. A system such as this enables the real-time understanding, management, and containment of outbreaks of disease, including potential pandemics.

The Fullpower Patent Portfolio

These patents are part of an intellectual property portfolio from Fullpower-MotionX that includes more than 36 issued patents with dozens of patents pending. Broad coverage for the MotionX Technology Platform introduces a new and necessary approach for sleep, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and epidemics. These advanced methodologies can enhance the potential of pharmaceutical drugs such as Ambien® (SNY) or Zocor® (MRK), for example. Fullpower’s continued innovation translates into constantly broadening and deepening of the IP related to the MotionX patent portfolio for non-invasive wearable wireless devices.

About Fullpower and the MotionX Technology Platform

Founded in 2003 by a world-class team, Fullpower’s MotionX technology platform leads the wearable technology revolution. The MotionX Technology Platform is a suite of tightly coupled and integrated firmware, software and communication components that are the building blocks for new breakthrough non-invasive, wearable wireless devices. With a broad IP portfolio including several dozen patents, the MotionX Technology Platform powers leading solutions from companies such as Nike, Jawbone, Apple, Comcast, Pioneer, JVC, and others. Fullpower showcases its MotionX Technology Platform via its iPhone and iPad applications, which lead the iTunes store in the Medical, Health & Fitness and Navigation categories.

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MotionX Introduces Sleep by MotionX v4.0 for iPhone, Correlates Resting Heart Rate with Sleep Quality

Medical-class iPhone application first to offer sleep monitoring, resting heart rate, and activity monitoring to help improve Sleep

SANTA CRUZ, CA – (Marketwire – November 29, 2012) – Fullpower®-MotionX® today announced Sleep by MotionX version 4.0, the first app for the iPhone that measures resting heart rate and correlates resting heart rate with sleep quality.

Sleep by MotionX encapsulates seven years of research and development in the biomechanics of natural human motion and sleep optimization to bring the best professional medical-class tool to the iPhone. Sleep by MotionX provides the tools to help improve your sleep in a natural and non-invasive manner.

It is the first solution for iPhone that:

  • Helps measure and correlate resting heart rate with sleep quality
  • Provides the most advanced and accurate sleep-cycle alarm solution
  • Implements smart alarms for optimal length power-naps for the first time on any device
  • Delivers advanced automatic “Get Active” alerts

 

“We carefully analyzed the feedback of tens of thousands of active MotionX users to take sleep monitoring and optimization to the next level,” said Philippe Kahn founder and CEO of Fullpower-MotionX. “We integrated a very accurate heart rate monitor with our sleep monitor to track resting heart rate which research shows can be an indicator of overall health.”

Sleep by MotionX is available at $9.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motionx-sleep/id505074676?mt=8. The upgrade to version 4.0 is free for the tens of thousands of current Sleep by MotionX users.

Read more at Fullpower.com

MotionX-GPS Drive named “Best iPhone 5 App for Drivers”

Total Car Score

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Total Car Score (www.totalcarscore.com), the most comprehensive automotive ranking and comparison website, today released its list of the Top 5 iPhone Driving Apps in anticipation of the release of the new iPhone 5.

“With the release of the iPhone 5, drivers will have an excellent selection of useful and fun driving aids,” said Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Total Car Score. “Beyond the new iPhone 5’s larger display screen and excellent native apps, these are our favorite driving-related apps. All of the apps in the list, with the exception of MotionX® GPS, are free in the App Store.”

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Read the entire press release at Fullpower.com