Lou Ottens, Inventor of the Cassette Tape, Dies at 94
Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer best known as the inventor of the cassette tape, has died. He was 94.
Ottens’s death was confirmed by DutchNews.nl. An exact cause of death was not noted.
Per NME, Ottens spent a significant portion of his professional career at Philips. He was Head of Product Development at Philips during the time he invented the cassette tape, which was introduced to the public in 1963 at the Berlin Radio Show electronics fair.
Ottens’s main inspiration for creating the cassette tape was to provide a more portable, affordable way to listen to quality audio recordings compared to the reel-to-reel technology that was then available.
In addition to inventing the cassette tape, NME also notes Ottens had a significant role in developing the compact disc, which was a joint venture between Phillips and Sony and was invented in 1979.
Otten’s cassette work and the technology’s impact on music were explored in the 2016 documentary Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape. The film’s trailer can be viewed below.