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Industry Timeline

  • 1609 – Famous astronomer, physicist, engineer and mathematician Galileo Galilei improves the telescope to make many significant astronomical discoveries.
  • 1826 – First (surviving) photograph taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in Burgundy, France
  • 1828 – Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian, invented an early type of electric motor powering a small model car
  • 1859 – Rechargeable batteries and the first practical electric car are produced
  • 1879 – Thomas Edison invents the first electric light
  • 1957 – First time the acronym “laser” is used by Gordon Gould
  • 1957 – Basil Hirschowitz and Larry Curtiss invent the first fiber optic endoscope
  • 1960-61 – First laser constructed and available commercially
  • 1961 – First optical fiber and medical use lasers developed and used commercially
  • 1964 – Xerox Corporation introduced (and patented) what many consider to be the first commercialized version of the modern fax
  • 1968 – The hologram is invented by Stephen Benton while working at Polaroid Corp.
  • 1969 – RCA introduced SelectVision, a color video cartridge player
  • 1974 – First bar code read by a scanner on a pack of chewing gum
  • 1977 – Birth of optical communication and the first underground fiber optic transmission system linking Illinois Bell and its customers
  • 1982 – First audio CD is developed
  • 1984 – CAD/CAM technology gains momentum and results in a demand for high resolution color graphic displays
  • 2006 – OLED (Optical LED) is pioneered at Princeton University
  • 2007 – Steve Jobs announces the iPhone, packed with photonics technology
  • 2011 – Osama bin Laden is captured; enabled by satellites and the use of infrared technology
  • 2013 – Curiosity Rover enabled by lasers lands on Mars
  • 2017 – First quantum-encrypted virtual teleconference, between Beijing and Vienna
  • 2019 – First time a quantum computer performs a calculation impossible for a classical computer