On April 12, 2005, U.S. Patent No. 6,879,556 titled Method and Apparatus for Optical Data Storage was issued to Iomega. This patent is the first in a series of nano-technology-based subwavelength optical data storage patents sought by Iomega. The patent covers a novel technique of encoding data on the surface of a DVD by using reflective nano-structures to encode data in a highly multi-level format. This technology, termed AO-DVD (Articulated Optical - Digital Versatile Disc), allows more data to be stored on a DVD and could allow future optical discs to potentially hold 40-100 times more information with data transfer rates 5-30 times faster than today's DVDs, and at similarly low costs. This invention was recently recognized as a winner of the Nanotech Briefs' Nano 50 awards in its product category. The Nano 50 awards are given to the "best of the best" in the industry - the innovative people and designs that will move nano-technology to key mainstream markets.
Fred Charles Thomas III - Engineer and Inventor
Fred Thomas received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Physics from Bucknell University in 1982. In 1990 he received a MS in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Control Systems and Non-linear Dynamics.His awards include the International Design Excellence Award in 2009, Industrial Forum Product Design Award in 2008, "Nano50 Award" for "Subwavelength Optical Data Storage" in 2005, Lemelson-MIT "Inventor of the Week" Award in 2004, Iomega "Exceptional Invention Award" in 1999, and Laser Focus World "Electro-Optic Application of the Year Award" in 1994.