At its 12th annual Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame awards ceremony, 11 industry leaders joined the 159 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists and entrepreneurs inducted since 2000 that provide products and services that entertain, inform and connect consumers.
The dinner was an upbeat affair with the honorees expressing their belief that America is a great place for innovation. They stressed that the consumer electronics (CE) industry is full of creativity in design, software development and marketing and that the $190 billion CE industry is improving the lives of consumers worldwide. The 2011 inductees each made a significant impact on the world with their vision and drive to bring their ideas to market. Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) Industry Forum in San Diego, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the association that created the awards program, praised the inductees for their contributions to the growth of the industry.
“The success of our industry is built upon the technologies and products these leaders created. Our products have a powerful impact on the world and I am proud to be part of this strong tradition of innovation that continues to contribute to the economy today,” Shapiro said.
Following are the new members of the 2011 CE Hall of Fame in the categories in which they were inducted:
• Ralph Baer developed the Brown Box, later to become the Magnavox Odyssey interactive TV/video gaming system.
• Dr. Fujio Masuoka invented flash memory while at Toshiba and also developed SAMOS memory.
• Dr. Robert Metcalfe was working at Xerox PARC in 1973 when he co-invented Ethernet – a standard for connecting computers over short distances.
• Dr. Claude Elwood Shannon is credited with founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937.
• Dr. Andrew Viterbi invented the Viterbi algorithm used for decoding convolutionally encoded data that is used in cell phones for error correcting codes, as well as for speech recognition, DNA analysis and other applications.
• Dr. Eli Harari – Co-founder and former CEO of SanDisk. The company invented or co-developed many of the standard memory card formats used in CE products ranging from digital cameras to smartphones.
• Stanley S. Hubbard – In 1981, Hubbard Broadcasting started U.S. Satellite Broadcasting (USSB), and was instrumental in the development and launch of the first digital satellite system for television in 1994.
• Sam Runco – Founder of Runco International, the company was the first to introduce a line doubler with a multi-frequency projector in 1990 as well as the first multiple-aspect-ratio controller, the ARC-IV, to the high-end home theater market.
• Sandy Bloomberg – Founder of Tweeter, the specialty consumer electronics retail chain that had more than 100 stores that marketed high-end electronics products.
• Team: Ivan Berger and Lance Braithwaite worked together at Berger Braithwaite Labs/Video Magazine (Sound & Video Magazine) and wrote extensive product reviews.
Accepting his award at the dinner, Ralph Baer thanked CEA and the judges and said, “I’m still in the electronics toy business today and with any luck, I’ll license them this year.” The next honoree, Sandy Bloomberg, said: “The Tweeter legacy is the more than 1,000 people that are working in the industry today that were at Tweeter.” Following him, Dr. Eli Harari said that he and others at SanDisk saw a diamond in the rough with flash memory. He said, “Steve Jobs recognized the power of flash early on with the iPod. We have a saying at SanDisk: store your world in ours.”
The next honoree, Stanley Hubbard said, “I’m standing on the shoulders of a great dad who made this possible and my great sons. We believed that DBS didn’t stand for ‘don’t be stupid.’” The team award for journalists was presented next. Ivan Berger said, “What made our work significant is that what we did had never been done in video.” Lance Braithwaite added, “Before Ivan, I wrote lead-footed prose and he convinced me that was not what the public is looking for.” Dr. Andrew Viterbi was honored next. He said, “I am so thrilled to be inducted in to the same class as Dr. Claude Shannon.” He added: “It took me 50 years to push forward to what Claude Shannon proposed for the U.S.” The evening ended on an inspirational note with final honoree Sam Runco. In often humorous acceptance remarks he said, “I believe this is a great time in history. We really did change the world. I did my little part and it’s nice to be young enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a panel of industry judges from nominations submitted by industry professionals. Judging for the 2011 Hall of Fame took place on February 23, in New York. To read the 2011 CE Hall of Fame booklet, visit CEVision.org.