Superb and inspiring story of Dr. Lowell Wood who broke Edison’s patent record and helped bring down the Soviet Union.
At 74, he’s been an inventor-in-residence at Intellectual Ventures, a technology research and patent firm, for about a decade. He’s paid to think and orchestrate international teams to develop products such as anticoncussion helmets, drug-delivery systems, superefficient nuclear reactors—anything, really, that might address some pressing need. In the 1980s he led the development of the space lasers that were meant to shield the U.S. from Soviet missiles as part of the “Star Wars” program. He’s an astrophysicist, a self-trained paleontologist and computer scientist, and, as of a few months ago, the most prolific inventor in U.S. history.
That record stood until July 7, 2015, when Wood received U.S. Patent No. 9,075,906 for “Medical support system including medical equipment case,” a device that can imbue medical gear with videoconferencing and data-transmission abilities so a patient can leave a hospital and use the machines at home. It’s his 1,085th patent. Just as remarkable, Wood has more than 3,000 inventions awaiting perusal by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He’ll likely remain America’s top idea man for many years to come.
Wood’s work at IV has included whimsical projects such as a laser-based shaver and a microwave that can customize its power for individual items on a plate, so meat, vegetables, and starches all come out at the same temperature. He’s also worked on a low-power clothes dryer, automated anticollision systems for cars, and a large thermos for preserving vaccines. “At least half of his activities—maybe more—are trying to help the least fortunate people on earth,” says Nathan Myhrvold, IV’s co-founder and CEO and former chief technology officer at Microsoft. “He’s really good at it. His ideas have already saved tons of lives and have the potential of saving enormously more.”
One has little doubt that most of education is a waste and does little to inspire anyone. Above all, it takes you away from your natural talents. So eithee one s too too lucky to discover his/her talents by oneself or remains ignorant of it. Here is another addition to the list of people who achieved spectacular things despite poor grades..