Last month at the White House, President Obama honored several top scientists and innovators with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the nation’s top honor for technological and scientific achievement. It recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and have helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees were selected by a distinguished independent committee representing both the private and public sectors. Among the winners was Eastman Kodak’s Steven Sasson, for the invention of the digital camera.
“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” President Obama said. “Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions.”
In 1974, Steven Sasson was asked to investigate the imaging properties of charge-coupled devices to create an image sensor for a film-free camera. The result of Sasson’s work was a device that weighted 8.6 lbs. and was the size of a small toaster. Today, digital cameras are everywhere, even on our mobile phones. The digital camera has revolutionized the way images are captured, stored, and shared, thereby creating new opportunities for commerce, education and improved worldwide communication.
Sasson, and the other honorees, will receive their award at a White House ceremony later this year.