On June 11th, 1997, Philippe Kahn created the first camera phone solution to share pictures instantly on public cell phone networks. The impetus for this invention was the birth of Kahn’s daughter when he jerry-rigged a mobile phone with a digital camera and shared photos in real-time. Philippe had spent the last 8 months developing the server infrastructure that would enable this feat and was now running in his home, 7 miles away. In 2016 Time Magazine included Kahn’s first camera phone photo in their list of the 100 most influential photos of all time.
The Camera-Phone was born in Santa Cruz on June 11, 1997 at the Sutter Maternity Clinic.
Inventor Philippe Kahn was there with his wife, Sonia Lee. Philippe had been working on the technology components for an “instant visual communicator.” After the baby was born, Philippe successfully shared the first picture, leveraging the server infrastructure that he had developed and was running in his home. He wired together his digital camera, his cellphone, and a laptop and ran the software he had developed. The server infrastructure, running 7 miles away in his home, allowed him to instantly share Sophie’s birth picture with friends and family around the world. The architecture and design became the blueprint for today’s social media.
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