1986 – Kodak invents the megapixel sensor
Innovation: Megapixel Sensor
There were two crucial developments leading to the invention of the megapixel sensor. First, George Smith and Willard Boyle from Bell Labs invented the charge-coupled device (CCD). This technology is the same image sensor that is used in all digital cameras. Second, Sony Corporation developed the first prototype digital camera called the Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera). The Mavica only actually took electronic still images, so it was not a true “digital camera”, but it did produce a 720,000 pixel image.
A few years later, in 1986, Kodak produced the first megapixel sensor, a fingernail sized solid state device capable of recording 1.4 million pixels. Previously, cameras captured images on film; with the advent of the megapixel sensor, users could record images without need of a physical medium like film and so accessing images became significantly easier. With the megapixel sensor, users could quickly capture an image and share it with others without wasting valuable time and money dealing with dark rooms and developing film.