A New Digital Camera Strategy

Dynamic Immaging

In the mid-'90's, Kodak was manufacturing writable CD's and DVD's including a small 3.5" CD. Digital Products was struggling to find profit with consumer digital cameras. They no longer had a consumble, other than storage cards, to provide that high profit margin, repeat buy. People were viewing their photos on tv's and computers and as result were having prints made much less often.

I believed the small writable CD could have become the next consumable for the product line I envisioned. Because the recording mechanism was kind of large to put in a camera (although Sony did it), I proposed a small wearable device, with the record and playbck capabilities and a small LCD screen. There would be some buttons for a menu, forward and back through photos, and a transmit function to allow wirelessly sending the photo to your computer or a Kodak Printer. I felt this unit could be made the size of a large iPhone, although probably a bit thicker and half again as wide. It would clip to a belt or neck strap. Moving the viewing screen and recorder to this device, would allow the cameras themselves to be very small. About the size of a credit card. The camera would automatically transmit the images wirelessly to the buffer in the recorder device and be recorded to a CD. Separating the screen and camera has some benefits. With a live view on the LCD screen, you could do things like hold the camera high above your head, but have the LCD storage unit in your other hand or mounted on your chest with a harness/holder, to view what the camera is seeing. Or, not have to bend down so far, to get that low shot. It really extends the range of what you can see through the lens. The storage device, would have really been the very simiilar to the first iPod, only for photos, beating Steve Jobs by almost four years. Music capabilities could certainly have been added.

I wrote up the proposal below and sent it to Willie Shih, then head of Digital Products Division. A few weeks later I did get a response back, basically saying, " Thanks for the proposal. Tell me how did you do those drawings?" (Done in Strata 3D) A few weeks after that, I discovered that he had just sold the CD media division.

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