The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the new class of inductees into its 2019 Consumer Technology (CT) Hall of Fame, created in 2000. The program celebrates technology leaders who advance innovation and develop, create, market and promote the technologies, products and services that improve consumers' lives.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CT Hall of Fame program," says Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, CTA. He praised the 2019 inductees for their efforts to develop technologies and business models that has laid the foundation that our industry continues to build upon. "I am proud to honour the accomplishments of these leaders in the consumer technology industry that inspire each of us with their passion for innovation."
The first 2019 CT Hall of Fame class inductee is Colin Angle (middle), co-founder and CEO of iRobot and co-inventor of the Roomba vacuum cleaner. He made robots in the home commonplace and created a new consumer technology product category, says CTA. Under Angle's leadership, iRobot has grown from an MIT start-up to the global leader in consumer robots, with more than 25 million robots sold worldwide.
James "Jim" Barry, spent 18 years as an influential consumer technology reporter and editor, then 22 years appearing across the country on TV and radio as CTA's Digital Answer Man. More people may have learned about consumer technology products from Barry over the course of his four-decade career than from any person in history says CTA, which is why he is also an inductee.
Henry Chiarelli (left), over the course of his 40-year career, has been a ubiquitous executive for numerous leading consumer technology, e-commerce and retail businesses, including RadioShack. Chiarelli also served as a chair, vice-chair or member on nearly 50 industry association boards, committees and standards working groups.
Elizabeth "Jake" Feinler (right), organized the online information system for ARPANET, the early version of the Internet, creating online directories of who was on the nascent network in the 1970s, presaging Google. In the 1980s, Feinler led the team that devised today's familiar top-level Internet dot-com domains, including .com, .org, .mil, .edu, and .gov.
Shuji Nakamura, invented the blue LED, which makes power-efficient "white" LED light bulbs possible, and the blue laser that the Blu-ray Disc format is based on. Nakamura's blue LED laser breakthroughs in the 1990s also enable next generation laser lighting, laser projectors, and laser car headlights that double the distance illuminated while using less power.
Owen D. Young, in 1919, organized the leading radio patent holders and founded the U.S.'s first radio company, RCA, which enabled the commercialization of radio and the creation of the consumer technology business. During his 10 years as CEO, Young led RCA to become the dominant consumer technology company in the 20th century.
In addition, for the first time, CTA will also honour its Innovation Entrepreneur Award winners at a dinner. The program will recognize a leading business and an exceptional start-up in the consumer technology industry.
Company of the Year is Heal, the first app to pair doctor house calls with remote patient monitoring using Heal Hub, a simple plug-in device that connects with more than 120 health tracking devices. Startup of the Year is Aurora. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving platform that brings together its software, hardware and data services to power all types of vehicle makes and models.
The inductees for the CT Hall of Fame and honourees for the Innovation Entrepreneur Awards were selected by two separate panels of media and industry professionals, who judged nominations submitted by manufacturers, retailers, and industry journalists. The 2019 honourees will be inducted into the CT Hall of Fame in New York at an awards dinner on Wednesday, November 6, at SIR Stage37. Complete inductee bios will appear in the November issue of It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, as well as online at CTA.tech/i3.