You probably don’t recognize the name Kia Silverbrook, but chances are, you use at least one of his inventions every single day. Let’s check into the innovations created by this genius.

    When we think of inventors, Thomas Edison comes to mind immediately, with his 1,093 U.S. patents, and a world-wide total of 2,332. Today’s most prolific inventor is Kia Silverbrook, an Australian scientist and businessman. Silverbrook’s name is listed on more than 10,000 U.S. patents.

      Following his graduation from the University of Sydney, where he studied electrical engineering and computer science, Silverbrook started work at Fairlight Instruments, a company that developed the first polyphonic digital sampling synthesizer, known as the CMI, or Computer Musical Instrument in 1979. Silverbrook invented the Fairlight CVI, a real-time video effects computer, in 1984. He was also at work developing innovations for the Australian military and the government’s Defense Science and Technology Organization, including a portable electronic tracking system.

Although most people are not aware of Silverbrook’s brilliance, his inventions have had a huge effect on our daily lives. He was instrumental in developing inkjet printing technology, inventing the first inkjet head and the first thermal inkjet print head, as well as the technology for 3D printing. We owe digital paper, interactive paper, digital printing, a phone with an internal printer and a camera with a built-in printer and cutting blade to Kia Silverbrook.

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He is the mastermind behind digital photography, breaking ground with the first modern digital camera. Facial recognition and your camera phone’s ability to focus on people’s faces and search for their eyes are thanks to Silverbrook. He has developed products in the field of computer graphics, digital music synthesis, video and audio production, liquid crystal displays (LCD’s), and genetic analysis. Silverbrook’s company Geneasys (Genetic Analysis Systems) has developed a medical diagnostic device capable of analyzing multiple diseases from a sample of DNA through the use of a standard smartphone.

Silverbrook’s brains were behind the first touch-screen display. He also created Netpage, a software system that makes printed paper interactive. A program user can scan a Netpage printed paper with a phone app, and it becomes live on the screen. He is responsible for various map and globe navigation systems, and for his work in cryptography, the process of using mathematical techniques to encrypt data for secure communications.

    One of Silverbrook’s newer ventures includes “Fractal Antenna Technology,” an invention that will improve wireless communications through these antennas with a much greater bandwidth than normal antennas.   

•      Silverbrook has so many ideas that he started a separate company, Priority Matters, just to be in charge of filing his patents.   

Why is Thomas Edison famous, while Silverbrook is relatively unknown to most? Most of Silverbrook’s inventions are “behind the scenes,” owned by other companies, such as about 250 photography-related patents that were purchased by Google, Facebook, and Apple. Most of the details of devices sold by Apple, Samsung, and other major tech companies were bought from inventors.