The Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, who developed the audio cassette 57 years ago while working at Philips and who also contributed to the creation of the compact disc (CD), died on March 6 at the age of 94.
Ottens has died at the age of 94 in his hometown of Duizel, in the Netherlands, as confirmed by his family and according to the local media Eindhoven Dagblag.
The audio cassette is a format that was born in the early 1960s, when Ottens was the director of product development for Philips Hasselt, who commissioned him to design a portable music player.
Due to the too large size of the formats of the time and their low speed, Ottens and his team also had to invent a new type of magnetic tape, in a plastic box and with movement at 5 centimeters per second: the compact cassette.
Of this medium, which materialized in 1964, today more than 100 billion units of cassettes have been sold worldwide.
In the 1970s, Ottens was the director of Philips Audio and worked on the development of what would become the next music storage format: the compact disc, or CD.
Otter and his team created the original design for compact discs at Philips, measuring 11.3 centimeters in length, substantially smaller than LPs of the time, to fit into the radios of vehicles of the time.
After experimenting with different technologies such as lasers, Otter and Philips Audio decided to make the leap to the technology that was finally used on CDs: digital.
Philips Audio developed an initial model of CD in 1979, and later Ottens worked with the Japanese Sony, which at that time contributed its experience in digital technology to create what was finally the CD, released in 1982, of which 200,000 million copies were sold. units in the world.