My electrical engineering career was ended by a neck injury in late 2004 that rendered competitive employment as an engineer unfeasible. But the silver lining to this misfortune was that it left me able to perform advocacy work.
Brought in by this consulting firm to take over a project for an ultrasonic ranging application, I wrote all firmware and improved the hardware design, exceeding performance requirements.
2000: For E Ink Corporation (Cambridge, MA), a sign remote controller
I designed a small standalone communications & sign controller that had the ability, in remote locations, to dialup the internet and retrieve complex scheduled information to be displayed on one of the company’s unique signs. It could also receive the same information via pager. The tiny device not only implemented all the needed protocols, as well as message decryption, error checking, storage and scheduling capabilities, it also provided extensive configuration and diagnostics capabilities, remote or local.
1997: For 3Com (formerly NBX Corporation, Andover, MA), the world’s first VOIP PBX
I designed the circuit hardware for an innovative feature telephone set and quad telephone line interface, two of the three primary components for NBX’s innovative and award-winninga VOIP (voice over IP, or ethernet-based) office telephone system. My designsb, comprising the bulk of the hardware for what would later be touted as “the world’s only reliable convergent [ie, IP-based] business telephone system”c enabled company management to realize their objectives and develop a substantial valuation for this startup company, realized in a desirable buyout by 3Com1. NBX was the only company (out of 7 that tried) that was able to bring a reliable ethernet-based PBX system to market. After being ranked #1 in IP PBX sales in 2001 for the third straight year based on the solid foundation of my hardware designs, 3Com in 2002 announced sales of over $300 million worth of the 3Com NBX phone sets. The reliable NBX systemsuccessfully expanded from 100 initially to as many as 1,500 users2,3 per system, greatly enhancing market opportunities.
1996: For Lucent Technologies (N. Andover, MA), a better algorithm
As a contractor (!), I received an award for innovation in the development of a power control algorithm for a distributed hybrid fiber/coax transmission system. (At the time of the award, Lucent was still known as AT&T).
1993: For Dialogic Corporation (Parsippany, NJ), the industry’s leading speech processing platform
The Antares speech processing platform (my VPro-4 design with a modified audio interface) became the leading platform for PC-based telecommunications speech processing (and, remarkably, remained so until 2003, thanks to Intel4). Originally conceived by me as an open platform for VPC5, my concept was brought to life by Dialogic (under VPC’s license) and supported by leading telecom signal processing algorithm vendors6,7. The hardware’s reliability, cost-effectiveness and powerful features gave the product a lifetime all but unheard of among PC-based products.
1993: For Voice Processing Corporation (Cambridge, MA), hardware that “opened doors”
The VPro-4, a four-processor open platform for PC-based speech processing, designed by me and introduced in 1991, became a cornerstone of VPC’s business. In lauding the design, VPC’s CEO Merrill Solomon commented “The VPro-4 opened doors for us.” (VPC was subsumed in 2002 under Philips Speech Processing whose SpeechWave product ran on Antares platforms.)
1984: For Phone-Mate (Torrance, CA), the best answering machine line
Hired as one of three product design managers, I soon became responsible for all new product design. One of my answering machine designs was rated head and shoulders above all competitive models by Consumer Reports. Thanks in part to that and my efforts to improve product quality and user friendliness, Phone Mate experienced a sales increase in one year from $42.3 to $71.8 Million, surpassing Panasonic to #1 in answering machine sales.
1982: For American Telecommunications Corp. (El Monte, CA), the breakthrough electronic ringer
My innovative ringer transducer design was the first piezo-based design anywhere to meet Telco standards for sound quality (previously, only mechanical ringers performed to such standards). It quickly became a company-wide standard, with annual production on the order of 500,000 telephone set ringers, and ushered in industry-wide change.
1978: For Bose Corporation (Framingham, MA), a patented bass boost
I co-invented ‘Dynamic Equalization’, a patented component (US 4179669 A, Dec 18, 1979) of the Delco-Bose car audio and Bose ‘Acoustic Wave’ portable systems. This innovation gave dramatically superior bass performance to Bose portable, automotive and powered home audio products.
b: Recognized with a formal commendation from company president and CEO Dan Massiello
3: 3Com Datasheet, 3Com Corporation, 2005
6: Voice Control Systems’ Advanced Speech Recognition Technologies Added to the Dialogic Antares Platform, December 11, 1997, Dallas Business Wire
7: Antares Resource Directory, Dialogic Corporation 1998