Milestone-Proposal talk:Kodak Digital Camera

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Proposal -- JaninA (talk) 13:56, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Dear Proposer,

I wonder when do you plan to have the proposal completed.

Kind regards

Janina

Proposal -- JaninA (talk) 04:00, 27 April 2019 (UTC)

Dear Proposer,

it has been a long time since you submitted partly drafted nomination for Kodak Digital Camera 1973-1977 for the IEEE Milestone in 2017.

The History Committee would like to know reasons for which the proposal has not been completed till now. In case you need some assistance with the process to complete the submittal please do not hesitate to contact the Committee.

Sincerely

Janina Mazierska

Re: Proposal -- Wmyfowlkes (talk) 15:04, 9 November 2020 (UTC)

Replace this text with your reply

Janina, I don't understand. We completed all the paper work and I thought this was submitted in 2019. Bill Fowlkes

Proposal -- JaninA (talk) 01:37, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the corrected version submitted on 20 March 2021. It starts looking good. So I will be contacting possible experts. In the meantime it might be worthy for you to look again at the section we discussed before and add a couple of sentences pointing the differences explicitly. Your necessary info is there now.

janina

Notes on Cromenco Cyclops -- Wmyfowlkes (talk) 17:32, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

Questions have been raised as to whether Kodak or Cromenco was truly the first to develop a working Digital Still Camera. The Cromenco CYCLOPS is an all-solid-state TV camera with a 1024 element MOS image sensor.  There is no storage and no digitization of the "pixels".  You have probably also seen this entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromemco_Cyclops. The ambiguity comes from the use of the term "camera".  The Cromemco Cyclops has to be tethered to something to make use of the images that are generated.  the correct term should probably be "TV Camera".

We are careful to distinguish ourselves from this in the milestone application by referring to the device as a "self-contained hand-held digital camera"  Specifically in the box Kodak included camera optics, a charge-coupled device electronic light sensor, a temporary buffer of random-access memory, and image storage on a digital cassette.

The Cyclops was primarily a capture device and exported raw signals to be viewed on a CRT.  In addition, the Cyclops is primarily a motion video device, the title for our milestone clarifies that we are claiming a still image camera.  "First Hand-Held Portable All-Electronic Solid-State Still Camera, 1975"

Expert Opinion 1 uploaded on expert's behalf by Administrator4 -- Administrator4 (talk) 13:00, 1 June 2021 (UTC)

"It took me some time to look at the material and records, and I have asked further confirmation from an older colleague who has worked on the camera sensor development during the late 70s, and who is therefore familiar with these early pioneering devices. Our opinion is that the plaque wording is accurate, that the evidence provided is sufficient, and that the achievement is significant".

Expert opinion 2 uploaded on expert's behalf by Administrator4 -- Administrator4 (talk) 13:01, 1 June 2021 (UTC)

" 1) Is the suggested wording of the Plaque Citation accurate?

The wording does not include any inaccurate claims, but it is incomplete in that there is a huge void between the description of the device itself and the final statement that "The digital camera has revolutionized the way that images are captured ...". A description of how this first camera influenced the evolution of these later devices is entirely missing. A possible reason for this is that it appears that Eastman Kodak suppressed any development of the prototype as a consumer product out of fears for the effect on their film business, with the result that it had little or no actual influence on the evolution of digital cameras as they are today.

Given these observations, it would seem appropriate for the wording to (i) include the names of the engineers who designed it rather than just the name of the company that failed to recognize its value, and (ii) include some acknowledgement of the actual influence the device had in the history of digital camera development.

2) Is the evidence presented in the proposal of sufficient substance and accuracy to support the Citation?

The supporting texts and citations section is overly reliant on web page links, but there is a sufficiently diverse range of evidence, including an IEEE Spectrum interview with the engineer who designed the system, and reports of an IEEE award for this work, to provide reasonable confidence in the validity of the claims made in the Citation.

3) Does the proposed milestone represent a signicant technical achievement?

The technical achievement is indeed significant. While there were other contemporary devices for digital photography, the device in question was the first self-contained digital camera; in a sense, the ancestor of the digital cameras of today. The significance of this achievement is tempered by the absence of any evidence that this device had any significant influence on the subsequent evolution of digital cameras (see discussion in response to question 1.), but in my view the technical achievement is nevertheless deserving of the milestone designation, albeit with a less selective account of history than is contained in the proposed Citation."

Citation and expert opinions -- JaninA (talk) 14:35, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

Bill, comments of the second expert need to be addressed.

citation and references -- JaninA (talk) 12:51, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

Hi Bill,

Thanks for changing the citation and sending the link. What a fascinating interview! I had not known that Sasson was only 25 at a time… And that there was hardly any funding for the digital camera project… I suggest to give the link to the US patent in the milestone nomination (it is only listed with no link), and also to add thelink to to his interview as a reference.

In the interview Sasson said that it was him and two part time technicians working on the project only, and gave their names. (The patent is in the name of Sasson’s supervisor and himself. But it was only Sasson who was given the Innovation Medal by a US President, not the supervisor as he was not involved, except for 45 sec).

Hence, should it be "an engineer and technicians" in the citation? Or just "an engineer", instead of "engineers"?

citation wording -- Amy Bix (talk) 23:17, 21 July 2021 (UTC)

Upon initially looking at this citation, I was impressed with its clarity and conciseness. However, after reading expert #2's opinion on this page, I am troubled by their comments: "There is a huge void between the description of the device itself and the final statement that 'The digital camera has revolutionized the way that images are captured ...'... It appears that Eastman Kodak suppressed any development of the prototype as a consumer product out of fears for the effect on their film business, with the result that it had little or no actual influence on the evolution of digital cameras as they are today." While the current wording does not explicitly claim that Kodak's 1975 version led directly to the later value of ubiquitous cameras, that would be a naturally logical (and apparently erroneous?) conclusion for a reader to draw. Is there some way around this? Perhaps something like, "Later contributions from many inventors and firms developed the digital camera into a revolutionary way of capturing, using, and sharing images, creating opportunities in commerce, education, and global communications."

Re: citation wording -- Bberg (talk) 03:13, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

I agree with Amy's comment, and I propose that the first 7 words of the final sentence ("The digital camera revolutionized the way that") be replaced by these 10 words ("Its eventual productization with flash memory-based storage revolutionized how") to create this final sentence: "Its eventual productization with flash memory-based storage revolutionized how images are captured, used, and shared, creating opportunities in commerce, education, and global communications." This would change the citation word count from 62 to 65.

Note that there were indeed non-flash memory productizations of digital cameras (e.g., Sony sold a floppy disk-based digital camera in the late 1990s). However, the size and low power of flash, whose price kept dropping, was the essential storage medium that allowed the latter part of the last sentence to truly become reality worldwide. While proposing my first Milestone in 2012 (for the EEPROM, and its foundation for flash memory), my conversations with SanDisk founder Eli Harari included his work with Kodak on a flash memory-based camera. The engineers loved it, but upper management killed it. That decision led to Kodak's downfall.

Two more comments: (1) There are a number of typos and poorly written sentences in the proposal that should be fixed before the page is published. (2) I have sent an OCRed PDF of the patent that is cited on the proposal page to Rob Colburn so that the proposal properly includes this document.

Patent reference -- JaninA (talk) 13:01, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

Brian,

the link to the US Govt page of the patent was inserted on 23 July.

Re: Patent reference -- Bberg (talk) 14:48, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

Thank you, Janina. Yes, indeed, the USPTO webpage is cited. However, the USPTO itself of course issues patent PDF documents, and the PDF format of a patent includes figures and easy-to-discern background information, and is far easier to read as compared with that USPTO webpage (which does not print well). I have always submitted OCR'ed PDF files for patents that have been cited in my earlier Milestones, both as proposer and Advocate. Also, citing the PDF turns the 2 proposal entries into a single entry.

Citation -- JaninA (talk) 13:08, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

I suggest:

First Hand-Held Portable All-Electronic Solid-State Still Camera, 1975

A self-contained hand-held digital camera was invented at the Eastman Kodak Company in a laboratory nearby. It used camera optics, a charge-coupled device electronic light sensor, a temporary buffer of random-access memory, and image storage on a digital cassette. Subsequent productization of digital cameras (with flash memory-based storage) revolutionized how images are captured, used, and shared, creating opportunities in commerce, education, and global communications

65 words

This version eliminates: repeating the date, necessity for historical evidence of significant involvement of Kodak engineers apart from one (Sasson), or an obvious statement “engineers and technicians” (who else could it be), and takes into considerations comments of two members on ETHW.

Re: Citation -- Bberg (talk) 14:40, 30 July 2021 (UTC)

This is a good set of changes. However, I suggest that the new parenthetical phrasing does not need parentheses, and that noting that the flash memory is used for image storage adds clarity since this is the single key update to the Kodak invention. Thus, the last sentence up to the ")" would read "Subsequent productization of digital cameras using flash memory for image storage" and the citation would be one word longer at 66 words.

Re: Re: Citation -- Bberg (talk) 04:12, 2 August 2021 (UTC)

Here are some further comments:

In the citation, the phrase "a charge-coupled device electronic light sensor" does not make sense, but adding the words "as an" to produce "a charge-coupled device as an electronic light sensor" does read correctly.

Note also that the title of "First Hand-Held Portable All-Electronic Solid-State Still Camera, 1975" is unnecessarily lengthy due to two redundancies: (1) "Portable" can be omitted by virtue of "Hand-Held," and (2) "All-Electronic" can be omitted by virtue of "Solid-State." Thus, "First Hand-Held Solid-State Still Camera, 1975" is shorter and loses no technical content from the original proposed title.

Re: Re: Re: Citation -- Dmichelson (talk) 19:42, 2 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree with these suggestions.