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The first camera phone was sold 20 years ago, and it’s not what you might expect (Latest version)

Science Museum Group

There is no doubt that the launch of the first mobile phone was a massive milestone in global communication. Yet another big leap in the area was made 20 years ago. In May 1999, Japan was the launch pad for the Kyocera VP-210. It was the first such phone with a built-in camera sold commercially to the general public.

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Of course, the idea of ​​joining a camera with a cell phone didn't even come from Kyocera. In fact, there is some confusion online about which device was actually the first camera phone (more later).

The camera calls prototypes and experiments

Apple video phone Atlantic Ocean / Macworld

Before launching the Kyocera VP-210, there were many designs made for mobile phones that had a kind of camera on board. In 1993, Daniel A. Henderson created two prototypes from a "wireless picturephone technology" device called the Intellect. It was a portable product designed to receive and display images and videos wirelessly from a message center. The two prototypes are now in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

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A few years later, in 1995, the Macworld print magazine had an article that suggested what Apple could create. according to The Atlantic Ocean, Apple actually shared a design for a never-released videophone that combined the look of the company's Newton PDA with a video camera and screen.

In 1997, MacGyvered's first working mobile phone was replaced by Philippe Kahn. His wife was about to give birth to their first child, and Kahn wanted to take photos quickly and share it immediately with family and friends. The Mercury News report that he is a Casio QV-10 digital camera with LCD display, along with a Motorola StarTAC flip phone and a laptop. While his wife was in hospital, Kahn quickly created a hardware and software interface to connect the camera and phone via the laptop.

First cell phone camera photo Full power

Kahn managed to finish his wife in time to give birth. The result is that the first cellphone camera image ever made was from Kahn's daughter Sophie. Due to his work, he could quickly share this phone with 2,000 people.

The first camera was the Kyocera VP-210

Kyocera VP210 Eyerys

As we mentioned earlier, Kyocera claims that the first cameraphone was sold to the general public. The announcement of the VP (or "Visual Phone") 210 is covered by CNN in May 1999. The phone had a 0.11MP camera and could take up to 20 photos before the onboard storage was full. It even had its own integrated stand so users could take photos of themselves. The price for the phone in Japan was 40,000 yen (~ $ 325).

Samsung says it was the first with the SCH-V200 …

Samsung SCH-V200 GSMArena

It took another year before another mobile phone with a camera was running. In June 2000, Samsung launched the SCH-V200 phone in its South Korea country. It can take up to 20 photos at a resolution of 0.35MP, and you can see it on the phone's 1.5-inch TFT LCD. However, you cannot use the phone to send the pictures directly to someone else; you had to connect the camera section of the phone to a computer and transfer the photo to your computer to do it.

Believe it or not, you can buy this piece of phone and camera history. Someone sells the SCH-V200 On eBay right now with the asking price of $ 599.86. Samsung recently posted an infographic message claiming that the SCH-V200 was the first phone with a built-in camera. As you can see, the claim seems to be "false news."

… or was it the Sharp J-Phone?

Sharp J-Phone sharp

In November 2000, the Sharp J-SH04 – better known as the Sharp J-Phone – sold in Japan as the third camera phone. The phone and camera hardware was really integrated with each other, unlike Samsung's phone. This integration allowed the phone's owners to send the 0.11MP images taken with his camera directly from the device via email. One of the companies that helped with Sharp's efforts was LightSurf, which, according to B&H Photo, was founded by none other than Philippe Kahn.

The first American camera phone: the Sanyo SCP-5300

Sanyo Camera phone The Telegraph

It took a while for the US phone call to hit the US. In November 2002, the Sanyo SCP-5300 (also known as the Sanyo Katana) sold in this country over two years since the Samsung SCH-V200 was launched in South Korea. through sprint. It costs about $ 400, has a clamshell design, and a camera that can take 0.3MP images. Magazine once placed the phone on its list of the most influential gadgets.

The beginning of something great

Nokia 9 PureView Review

Once cameras started appearing as a standard feature on mobile phones, it was an earlier conclusion that the popularity of small digital single cameras would be a big hit. In 2003, The New York Times reported camera phone sales were already higher than single digital cameras. In 2006, camera phones outperformed selling both digital and movie cameras.

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Today, smartphones have features that haven't been considered 20 years ago. We are seeing more and more smartphones with two or more rear cameras, along with cameras with massive sensors. We have software features that make editing images and video a snap, along with special effects like bokeh and more to make your photos look good. A smartphone camera can help us shop, translate text, and even play games with AR titles like Pokemon Go.

What do you think the next 20 years will bring in smart phone cameras? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!