Revolutionizing a sector isn’t easy, which is why it rarely happens.

It starts with the creation and design of an idea.

But ideas are no good without backing, which is why a genuinely revolutionary idea developed in the 1970s – many years before it came into modern life – never came to pass.

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The invention was something that millions of people use each and every day – digital photography.

If you’d said to the engineers at Kodak millions of people would use their invention on phones that take pictures you can carry in your pocket, they’d surely look at you as if you were mad.

But digital photography isn’t as new as you think, and in fact, existed way before mobile phones.

In fact, it goes back to 1975 – a year before iPhone maker Apple was even formed.

Kodak was the first company to hold a patent for digital photography – nearly 50 years ago.

The company was known for its innovation and had led the way in the first transitions in the industry from dry plates to film and from black and white to color.

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But this time, the idea called “filmless photography” wasn’t something the board was overly interested in.

Kodak engineer Steve Sasson told the New York Times: “It was filmless photography, so management’s reaction was, ‘that’s cute — but don’t tell anyone about it.'”

Admittedly, Sasson’s camera wasn’t overly practical.

It was the size of a printer and weighed nearly four kilos.

The camera took black-and-white images stored on a digital cassette tape.

Sasson and his colleagues also had to invent a special screen to look at the pictures.

It also took 23 seconds to take a single picture.

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The first digital cameras started to emerge in the early 1990s, but Kodak’s management still didn’t move, citing how big and heavy the early models were compared to film cameras.

Technology rapidly improved, and Kodak was suddenly left behind.

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It had a patent on digital photography which ran out in 2007.

By then, Kodak’s rivals were streets ahead in digital photography.

Former CEO George Fisher told the New York Times in 1993 that the company:

Regarded digital photography as the enemy, an evil juggernaut that would kill the chemical-based film and paper business that fueled Kodak’s sales and profits for decades.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 but digital cameras are still sold under the Kodak brand by JK Imaging Ltd under an agreement with Kodak.

It still exists in 2022 and describes itself as “a leading global manufacturer focused on commercial print and advanced materials & chemicals.”

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