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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Monday, 19 February 2007

A fond farewell to a great inventor

The IPKat learns that the inventor Robert Adler has died at the grand age of 93. While other news stories (see here) focus on him being the inventor of the television remote control, this particular Kat was more impressed that he invented a particular type of piezoelectric actuator over 20 years before a certain Dr Pearce (as he then was) came up with a similar idea. This spurred Dr Pearce on to invent something better, which eventually led (for better or worse) to a career in IP.

Left: The ingenious Adler device in question.
This Kat recognises the valuable contribution that inventors make, which can spread far and wide and end up influencing far more than the bottom line of the companies they may work for. Even apparently dead-end inventions (the spring above was never commercialised, or even made until this author had a go) can have beneficial results.

1 comment:

Guy said...

Dr Adler invented the ultra-sonic remote control. The one that both controlled the TV set and disturbed the dogs. A colleague at Zenith had earlier designed a light operated remote control; Adler acknowledges it in his US patent. Cheap IR LED's have effectively changed controllers to the earlier system.

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