Inventor of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, has died aged 94.
Ottens was born in Bellingwolde on 21 June 1926. Ottens showed an interest in technology and tinkering from an early age. In 1952, Ottens was hired by Philips and few years later he transferred to a factory in Hasselt, Belgium. At the time, this factory mainly produced audio equipment, including turntables, tape recorders, and loudspeakers.
In 1960, Ottens became the head of the new product development department in Hasselt. While in this position, he led the development of Philips’ first portable tape recorder, the EL 3585. This project with over 1 million units being sold proved to be quite successful.
In 1963, he presented the first cassette tape at the Berlin Radio Show electronics fair. Ottens cassette design became the industry standard after making a deal with Sony.