The Nobel Prize 2009 and Digital Imaging
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The Nobel Prize 2009 and Digital Imaging

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The inventors of the CCD generated a lot of creative destruction in the camera industry.

The inventors of the CCD generated a lot of creative destruction in the camera industry.

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The Nobel Prize 2009 and Digital Imaging The Nobel Prize 2009 and Digital Imaging Presentation Transcript

  • The Noble Prize 2009 Digital Imaging
  • On the 6th of October it was announced that Noble Prize in Physics will be received by…
  • ... Charles Kao, Willard Boyle and George Smith. Boyle and Smith received it for inventing the Charged Coupled Device (CCD).
  • ... Charles Kao, Willard Boyle and George Smith. Boyle and Smith received it for inventing the Charged Coupled Device (CCD). The CCD is the image sensor that is used in digital cameras.
  • ... Charles Kao, Willard Boyle and George Smith. Boyle and Smith received it for inventing the Charged Coupled Device (CCD). The CCD is the image sensor that is used in digital cameras. Hence, they received the prize for having invented digital imaging.
  • It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that they sparked a revolution.
  • The research performed by Boyle and Smith popularized photography in a way that no one could have imagined.
  • While digital imaging has created a lot of value, the innovation has also destroyed entire companies.
  • In Rochester (NY), Kodak has demolished several buildings that were rendered obsolete with the shift to digital imaging.
  • Konica left the industry after trying to survive through a merger with Minolta.
  • In Munich, Germany, AgfaPhoto was demolished.
  • Polaroid is also resting in peace.
  • Many old companies with a competence in precise mechanics failed to renew their skills and could not keep up with the pace of development.
  • The legendary Leica company has balanced at the brink of bankruptcy for many years now.
  • The Swedish Hasselblad camera received cult status after it had been used on the moon in 1969.
  • When Smith’s and Boyle’s invention reached sufficient performance levels, Hasselblad was nearly extinguished. Bottom line for Hasselblad (MSEK)
  • The company’s competence was primarily related to mechanics and therefore, a lot of the competitive advantage was lost with the shift to digital imaging.
  • While we take digital imaging for granted today, its journey from Boyle and Smith’s invention to the collapse of Kodak’s film business has been long and bumpy.
  • The CCD was originally intended as a kind of memory, but turned out to be better suited for other purposes.
  • Digital imaging was superior to photographic plates when it came to gazing at distant planets and galaxies.
  • Some of the first applications of digital imaging back in the 1970s were used in outer space.
  • The Viking Lander 1 took the first picture from the surface of Mars on July 20 1976.
  • About 4500 images were taken and many of them are so good they’re still used today.
  • In 1979, Emory Kristof used an electronic camera while photographing life at the bottom of the ocean.
  • "It sounds like it (the digital camera) could give us more speed, more time to do the selection and cropping of photographs and less time just doing the technical production of it.“ // Ralph Langer, Dallas Morning News 1984
  • The technology was increasingly used in photo journalism during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Then came the revolution…
  • … Which turned the entire industry upside down…
  • … Smith and Boyle’s invention generated a revolution…
  • … and a lot of Creative Destruction.
  • The CCD became a pretty good illustration of how new technologies create industrial turmoil in society.
  • Image attributions
  • Christian Sandström is a PhD student at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innovation and technological change. www.christiansandstrom.org christian.sandstrom at chalmers.se