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French smart chip “father”, Roland Moreno, dies

The Frenchman who invented the internationally recognised Smart card has died in Paris aged-66. For a lot of people Roland MORENO was considered as the father of the “smart card”.

Moreno was only 29 when, in 1974, he first patented the idea for a miniature circuit board that could hold secure electronic data. Then he set up his own company, Innovatron, to exploit the concept, which he claimed had come to him in a dream.

By the time his patent ended in 1994 it had earned him and his company Innovatron nearly €150 million. The security on the chip has managed to weather the test of time. In 2000 he offered €150,000 if anyone could crack the code in three months. The money was never claimed.

The smart card is nowadays widely used for many purposes such as:

  • in mobile phones (SIM card)
  • but also in the payment industry (credit card),
  • Health (Carte Vitale),
  • transportation (Navigo card and similar)
  • and many other devices.

At the time of his death, Moreno continued to receive royalties from the use of Innovatron’s technology in French transit cards and the Vélib bike-sharing scheme in Paris.

(Roland Moreno, inventor, born 11 June 1945; died 29 April, 2012)

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