1st Camera-Phone Public Photo

The First Camera Phone NFT will be svailable soon,
visit FirstPhonePhoto.com for details.

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.

The original picture is 240 by 320 pixels. It is available in three versions: Originalmedium pixelatedlarge pixelated

The First Camera-Phone & Cellphone Camera Hardware Prototype

Press & Additional Reading

A selection of articles and media featuring the first camera-phone photo and its historical and cultural impact

The Big Picture
Wired | Bob Parks | October 1st, 2000
The Camera Phone
Slate | January 17 2007
A baby girl and the camera phone were born 20 years ago
Mercury News | Larry Magid, June 12, 2017
Best Buy “Innovators” Ad from Super Bowl XLVVI
AdAge | February 5, 2012
Philippe Kahn named by tech journalist Mossberg in list of top 5 all time most influential technologists
GoLocal | Walter Mossberg, August 11, 2017
Evolution of the Camera Phone
Stuff.tv, June 20, 2016
Inventor Philippe Kahn on Audacity, Talent, and Luck
Inc., Lewis Schiff, April 27, 2013
Emailing the Father of the Camera Phone as He Sails Across the Great Blue Pacific
Brian Lam, Gizmodo, July 19 2007
Baby’s arrival inspires birth of cellphone camera — and societal evolution
USA Today, January 23 2007
The First Cell Phone Picture
Exploring History, Kassondra O’Haram, Medium.com, May 30, 2021
Philippe Kahn
The First “Camera Phone” Photograph Was Sent in 1997
PetaPixel, September 27, 2011
This is how the first cellphone photo was shared online 20 years ago
DIY Photography, June 14, 2017
Smartphones’ Role In Changing World History
Forbes, June 9, 2020
Small Camera, Big Vision
Fortune.com, March 14, 2001
Wirtschafts Woche | BLICKPUNKTE
Matthias Hohensee, September 8, 2015
« Point-shoot-share, instantly ».
L’invention de la photographie partagée
Transbordeur. Photographie histoire société, no. 5, 2021, pp. 166-177