This guy is OK for not making a single dime for inventing USB

Used in roughly more than 10 billion devices throughout world, USB we use, turned 20 years old last week. However, the man who discovered this technology has not made a single penny off it & he is fine with it.

Ajay Bhatt, Intel’s Chief Systems Technologist, who’s largely responsible for inventing USB technology, told Business Insider, “I don’t do these things for money. I did this to bring change, & it’s not very often that somebody gets a chance to bring about this big a change.”

As a matter of fact, USB technology did not make money for anyone. Because Intel, who was first one to back Bhatt’s USB idea and who owns all patents to this technology had decided from start to make it open and royalty free.

Bhatt believed that Intel had every right to do so.

The USB which is now regarded as standard for connecting different devices, was once met with a lukewarm response from tech companies, including giant Apple & Microsoft, in early ’90s when Bhatt had first proposed his idea to them.

“As an engineer, I’ve been handsomely rewarded by company,” Bhatt added. “And I couldn’t do this kind of work anywhere else. I have nothing to complain.”

Even though Intel was very first to support his idea and has started building support for it into its chips, actually it was the APPLE who first shipped a USB compatible product – known as iMac G3 – for end users in August 1998. Immediately, Microsoft followed suit and provided USB support for Windows 98’s second edition.

So, does Bhatt believes that he may have missed out on a chance to actually make hundreds millions of dollars? No. He believes that his contribution to overall computer industry is what makes up for it. The basic purpose was to make our PC easier for regular users, & expand overall PC market, and yes, USB undoubtedly helped that cause.

usb invention“If computers are seen to be easy, then we’ll sell more n more computers, and as part of that, we’ll sell more chips. It’s a much bigger picture that Intel saw,” Bhatt said. “As pie gets bigger, we get a piece of the pie, and we’re happy with it.”

Whats Next

So will there ever be another technology which would be available everywhere as today’s USB? Bhatt thinks he found one: we know as stylus.

Currently, Bhatt is working with 35 companies to create a standard for stylus pens, so they could all work under single universal technology. If his vision came true, then it would be mean that an Apple stylus pen could be used in a Microsoft Surface, & vice versa.

“We are defining a standard to make these stylus more ubiquitous, more responsive, & address entire handwriting experience,” Bhatt said. “It’s our next frontier.” 🙂