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Great Engineers & Scientists

In 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In this blog, we take Newton's words to heart, and recognize the many great engineers and scientists upon whose shoulders we stand.

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Part 1 - Meet Woody Norris, Inventor of HyperSonic Sound (HSS)

Posted June 11, 2007 5:01 PM by Steve Melito

"I don't know why he doesn't like me", laughs Elwood "Woody" Norris, chairman of American Technology Corporation (ATC) of Poway, California. From what Norris has been told, Dr. F. Joseph Pompei of Holosonic Research Laboratories "hates my guts". If the animosity between these men is real, then it's probably because the stakes are so high. Today, the inventors are locked in a billion-dollar battle over the future of audio in your home, car, supermarket, pharmacy, and shopping mall. Their warring technologies may even shape the real-world battlefields of the twenty-first century.

Last week, CR4's Steve Melito interviewed Joe Pompei, inventor of the Audio Spotlight directional-sound system. This week, the engineer's place for news and discussion meets Woody Norris, inventor of HyperSonic Sound® (HSS) technology.

Who is Woody Norris?

Ask Woody Norris about his background, and he'll refer you to his personal web site, where you'll learn that he's a "small town guy with no college degree". Norris is also a self-described "visionary" and "futurist" who admires Thomas Edison and reads Arthur C. Clarke. The son of a coal miner, Norris joined the Air Force after high school and received six months of intensive electronics training. He was stationed at a secret base beneath the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico, where he served as a radar operator and tinkered with the electronics that trigger nuclear weaponry. After leaving the Air Force, Norris worked as an electronics technician at the University of Washington. He enjoyed the free classes, but eventually abandoned his education in order to make money. His now-expired patent for diagnostic ultrasound made him a wealthy man, but he's still a regular guy.

Today, Elwood "Woody" Norris leads a public company which has spent over $8 million on patents. American Technology Corporation (ATC) may not be a household name, but its customers include Sony, Samsung, Kroger, Duane Reade, and Walmart of Mexico. Asian manufacturers, the U.S. military, the Smithsonian Museum, and the world's highest-volume McDonald's also use ATC's HyperSonic Sound (HSS) technology. Although Norris admits that his company is "not as highly penetrated as we plan to be", the 67-year old inventor believes that the tipping point is near. With 20,000 units in the field and recent decreases in price, the HSS may soon become what Norris calls a "commodity".

Of Joe Pompei's customers, Woody Norris says only that "we've been successful in taking them away."

Editor's Note: Part 2 of CR4's interview with Woody Norris will run tomorrow.

Steve Melito - The Y Files

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Re: Part 1 - Meet Woody Norris, Inventor of HyperSonic Sound (HSS)

10/16/2007 9:47 AM

Hi: would just like to know if HSS is ready for home audio and what would the price be.? Thanks Maxwell

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Previous in Blog: Meet Dr. Joseph Pompei, Inventor of the Audio Spotlight - Part 2   Next in Blog: Part 2 - Meet Woody Norris, Inventor of HyperSonic Sound

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