The invention of the camera phone is a story as old as time.
The camera phone was born in Santa Cruz on June 11th, 1997. So was Philippe Kahn's daughter.
While Kahn's wife was enduring a long and exhausting labor with their baby, Sophie, Kahn was tinkering with a different labor of love: he was trying to connect his flip-top Casio phone to his camera, and then to his laptop. At the last minute, he ran downstairs to his car and ripped off the speakerphone in order to complete the technology. And just as Sophie came into the world, Kahn's jerry-rigged invention sent pictures of her to 2,000 family and friends in real-time.
"It became the Polaroid of the 21st century," remarks Kahn in a new film about his invention, directed by Jonathan Ignatius Green and produced by Conscious Minds, which reimagines Kahn's Eureka moment in the maternity ward. "I'm holding the baby in my left hand and the camera in the other. It changed society and the way people evolve."
In 2000, Sharp used Kahn's technology to release the first commercially available camera phone. Time Magazine included Kahn's first camera phone photo as one of the 100 most influential photographs in history.