Audio cassette tape inventor Lou Ottens dies aged 94

Audio cassette tape inventor Lou Ottens dies aged 94
Cassette tapes have experienced an unlikely resurgence in recent years. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, who is credited with inventing the audio cassette tape, has died aged 94.

An estimated 100 billion cassette tapes have been sold across the world since they were introduced in the 1960s.

Ottens’ invention of cassette tape transformed the way people listened to music, and there has even been a resurgence of the cassette in recent years.

Last weekend, the engineer died in his hometown of Duizel, his family announced on Tuesday.

The Dutch engineer became head of Philips’ product development department in 1960, where he and his team developed the cassette tape.

In 1963, the cassette tape was presented at the Berlin Radio electronics fair and soon became a worldwide success.

Ottens struck a deal with Sony and Philips that saw his model confirmed as the patented cassette, after a number of Japanese companies reproduced similar tapes in a number of sizes.

On the 50th anniversary of its creation, Lou Ottens told Time magazine that it was a “sensation” from day one.

Ottens was also involved in the development of the compact disk, and to date, more than 200 billion of those have been sold worldwide.

In 1982, when Philips showed off a production CD player, Ottens said: “From now on, the conventional record player is obsolete”.

Ottens retired four years later. Being asked about his career, he said his biggest regret was that Sony and not Philips had created the iconic cassette tape player, the Walkman.

In recent years, Cassette tapes have experienced an unlikely surge in popularity. A number of artists including The Killers and Lady Gaga have released their music on them.

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