Two pioneers of digital photography honored by National Inventors Hall of Fame

two pioneers of digital photography honored by national inventors hall fame sasson holding camera hiresThirty-six years ago Steve Sasson began work on the modest project of taking an image, converting it to a digital signal and then storing it in a way the image could be retrieved later. The same structure Sasson developed in 1975 is behind virtually all commercially available digital cameras on the market today (although the cameras have gotten significantly smaller in the intervening years). Sasson is just one of 39 inventors who are set to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2011, which was announced today.

Joining Sasson is another pioneer in the field of digital photography, Eric Fossum, the man behind the image censor in your DSLR. While working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Fossum led a team engineers who would eventually develop the CMOS active pixel sensor (APS). The CMOS sensor is now widely used in everything from cellphone cameras and DSLRs to the “swallowable cameras” used for medical diagnoses.

Here’s a quick rundown of the remaining 2011 inductees who are still among us:

  • George Devol, industrial robot visionary
  • Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle, who all contributed to public-key cryptography
  • Gary Michelson, who possesses over 250 patents related to refining the process of spinal surgery
  • Esther Takeuchi, credited with inventing the batteries that power implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • N. Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver (deceased), inventors of the first optically scanned barcode

Notable inventors from the class of 2011 who have passed away include Mary Anderson, inventor of the windshield wiper, and Carleton Ellis, the creator of margarine. You can view the complete list of inductees here.

Emerging Tech

Don’t be fooled — this automated system sneakily manipulates video content

In the vein of “deep fakes," Recycle-GAN, a new system from Carnegie Mellon University, presents another case for how difficult it will be to distinguish fiction from reality in the future.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Emerging Tech

Moxi the ‘friendly’ hospital robot wants to help nurses, not replace them

Moxi is a "friendly" hospital robot from Texas-based Diligent Robotics. The wheel-based bot, which begins trials this week, aims to free nurses from routine tasks so they can spend more time with patients.
Emerging Tech

Giant wind farm in Morocco will help mine cryptocurrency, conserve energy

One of the windiest parts of Morocco is set to get a $2 billion wind farm power plant, which could help power eco-friendly cryptocurrency mining in a more environmentally friendly way.
Emerging Tech

How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super-simple breakdown

How do 3D printers work, exactly? If you ever wondered how these magical machines create 3D objects in a matter of hours, then look no further than this dead-simple breakdown of the four most common printing technologies.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Robots are going to steal 75 million jobs by 2025 — but there’s no need to panic

According to the World Economic Forum, robots and A.I. will take 75 million jobs from hardworking humans by 2025. That's the bad news. The good news is that they will create far more jobs than that.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

An A.I. is designing retro video games — and they’re surprisingly good

Researchers from Georgia Tech have demonstrated how artificial intelligence can be used to create brand-new video games after being shown hours of classic 8-bit gaming action for inspiration.
Smart Home

Amazon might open 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021

According to new reporting by Bloomburg, anonymous sources within Amazon say that CEO Jeff Bezos is considering opening up to 3,000 of the company's cashier-less, experimental Amazon Go stores by 2021.
Emerging Tech

Wormlike motion sculptures show how athletes move in 3D

Researchers at MIT have developed a system that offers athletes a unique way to visualize their bodies in motion. An algorithm scans 2D videos of a person in motion, and generates data points that can be 3D-printed into "motion sculptures."