what do you think? agree disagree The Pocket Technological innovation does little to change basic human behaviour. Came Moment Essay by Jonathon Keats, from Wired, June 1, 2012 “Any schoolboy or girl can make good pictures,” declared an Eastman Kodak ad for the Brownie box camera soon after it launched in February 1900. It was an astonishing claim, given the unwieldy equipment, arcane chemistry, and extravagant expense of nineteenth-century photography. Sold for a dollar and preloaded with film, George Eastman’s ultra-portable, one-button cardboard shooter could hardly match professional rigs in image quality, but by sponsoring contests, starting clubs, and charging just pennies for prints, Eastman nurtured something else: photography as a social activity. Eastman sold 150 000 Brownies in the first year. Within a decade, nearly a third of Americans owned a camera, and even those who didn’t could not avoid the “Kodak freaks” who toted their Brownies everywhere and traded snapshots for their scrapbooks. The mania only intensified when Kodak introduced a folding pocket model that could print photos directly onto penny postcards. (More than 677 million postcards were mailed in 1907 alone.) By transforming how people engaged with photography, Eastman transformed how they engaged with one another. Shared experiences no longer had to be experienced together. We’re in the midst of another Brownie moment. Yes, we’ve had cellphone cameras for years, and they can’t compete with specialized digital cameras on image quality. But, as with the Brownie, image quality is secondary to the social nexus. Always at hand, an iPhone camera is easy to use unobtrusively, and apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic facilitate effortless sharing of images, automatically optimized as eye candy. Instagram in particular is on fire. The free app doubled its audience to 27 million users in the first three months of 2012, and that was before the Android version. And before it was purchased by Facebook for a cool billion. Pre-Instagram, you could text a photo or email it from your smartphone and eventually post it on Flickr, but that all took effort. Instagram has made sharing compulsively easy. 100 Nelson English Unit 2: Innovation NEL