Bonus Edition introduction by George Kupczak of the AT&T Archives and History Center
In 1969, Willard Boyle and George E. Smith invented the charge coupled device, which makes modern-day digital photography possible. Originally created for use in picturephones, the CCD evolved to allow camera makers to do away with bulky vacuum tubes, and to enable new types of computer storage.
When this film was made in 1978, CCD devices could hold 16,000 elements. Today's CCDs are capable of capturing thousands of times that information.
This film, typical of Bell Labs films of the time, uses simple diagrams to demonstrate how the invention works, tells the story of the invention, and includes interviews with both Boyle and Smith, who would later win the Nobel Prize for their work.
Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ