Did You See This?

Photo Finish

How the very first camera phone picture came to be.

This video from creative studio Conscious Minds tells the story of two important things that came into being on one night, June 11, 1997: Phillipe Kahn’s daughter Sophie, and the camera phone. The internet itself was only 4 at the time, but in that hospital room—while Kahn’s graphic-designer wife Sonia Lee was in labor—the mathematician, programmer, tinkerer, and father-to-be hurried to cobble together a connection between his Motorola Startac flip phone, his kitchen-table server at home, and his Casio QV-10 digital camera. He wanted everything ready in time for Sophie’s arrival and the first-ever camera-phone photo.

That Sonia was understanding about the whole thing—even encouraging him to run out to the car to get his soldering iron—is an understatement. Since that night, the couple have enjoyed success as entrepreneurs. And Sophie, not to mention the camera phone, just turned 20.