I’ve had these images laying around for ages and stumbled across them again tonight. This is a prototype digital camera Kodak produced way back in 1975. The “toaster-sized” system relied on a cassette tape for recording data. The digitized images took 23 seconds to record to tape which then had to be played back using a specialized system (shown in the second photo — note the name of the Motorola computer, “EXORciser”). This is one of those times where I’m tempted to say “look how far we’ve come in such a short time!”. But damn, 1975? I wasn’t even born. I never would have guessed they had this sort of tech back then.
I’m really not sure I’d be doing the things I do now if I was coming up back in those days. Either computers have made me lazy, or I’m just inherently lazy, but I honestly can’t imagine dealing with 23-second-per-image write times and cassette tapes.
Check out this piece about the process of creating the prototype by one of the original team members, Steve Sasson: “Plugged In – We Had No Idea“