Lou Ottens, the inventor of the cassette tape dies at 94

Dutch inventor of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, has died at the age of 94.

CNN reported that the news of his death was confirmed by his family and that he had died in his home in the Netherlands but the cause of death was not disclosed.

Ottens worked for multinational company Philips in 1952, which sold an estimated 100 billion cassette tapes worldwide.

He was described by Philips Museum’s Netherlands director Olga Coolen as an ‘extraordinary man who loved technology’.

Source: Wikipedia

In 1960, Ottens and his team made a breakthrough when they developed the first portable tape recorder — which used the reel-to-reel system, meaning the tape had to be manually wound.

In August 1963, Philips introduced its first compact cassette recorder (EL3300) at the Funkausstellung (Radio Exhibition) in Berlin, Germany. Source: Royal Philips

His idea about the cassette tape was that it should fit in the inside pocket of his jacket and it was only in 1963 that the first tape was presented to the world at an electronics fair in Berlin.

The tagline of the tape was ‘Smaller than a pack of cigarettes!’

Japanese manufacturers were inspired by his invention and quickly copied his cassette to be sold to the Japanese market while in other parts of the world, the cassette became a hit among young people in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Guardian reported that Ottens became audio director at Philips’ NatLab where he was involved in the innovation of the CD.

Many took to Twitter to pay tribute by sharing photos of their cassette tapes and how it was an important part of their teenage years.

The Museum of Portable Sound in London also shared their condolences on Twitter. ― Malay Mail