So this is why the Smartcard has stayed out of North America for so long

By | May 1, 2012

I'd assume it's also the reason why NFC adoption in Europe is limping at the moment.

Yet another brilliant mind gone… it would be nice to announce the birth of a future brilliant inventor for a change, if only we knew who they were in advance!

Reshared post from +EuroTech

Smartcard Inventor Died This Weekend
Frenchman Roland Moreno, inventor of the smartcard, died in Paris on 29 April at the age of 66

Electronics fanatic, Moreno as a student designed a machine to toss a coin. He made a living with small jobs for around ten years before creating his own company in 1972, Innovatron, in order ”to sell his ideas.”

He first managed to sell a machine that creates new words from existing words, the Radoteur (driveller) that is still commercially used to create new company names by the NOMEN society.

The major invention of Roland Moreno is the Smartcard, patented in 1974. This invention has been used widely in phone cards, bank cards, Sim cards and most recently, France's Navigo contactless public transport card.

Moreno earned some 150 million euros in royalties before the patent became common domain in 1998. He sold his share in French smartcard maker Gemplus in 2002, but remained CEO of Innovatron, which continues to receive royalties on contactless cards such as Navigo and Velib', having developed the technology with RATP in 1994, Le Figaro reports.

He wrote several books about the creation of the Smartcard, and two manifestos about the right to copy in art and the freedom of thinking, with a lot of humour and thousands of ideas. The first was “La théorie du Bordel ambiant” (The theory of ambient mess), published in 1990. The second one, “Victoire du Bordel ambiant” (Victory of the ambient mess) was published last year.

In 2001, he designed the first prototype of Célimène, later named “augmented music” in reference to the “augmented books” from iGutenberg. This invention superimposes a melody with the text of a play or a poem.

Moreno’s major invention became common domain after 20 years, thus he stopped earning money from it. Does that seem fair to you?

Further reading In french:

Author: +Kellya Clanzig

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