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Barton Receives Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award


January 2010

Computer Science alumnus James Barton (MS 1982) has been honored by IEEE with the 2010 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award. The award recognizes Barton for contributions to the development and commercialization of digital video recorders and was presented recently at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As the primary inventor of the modern digital video recorder (DVR), Barton provided the powerful technology that allows consumers to automatically record their favorite television programming for later viewing, as well as the ability to pause and rewind live programming. Barton's contributions to the success of the DVR go far beyond the actual hardware design. With an emphasis on software, Barton's software-driven technology enables a connected product whose functionality evolves over time via software updates without any effort required from the consumer. Barton's innovations have set the standard for ease of use and reliability in DVR products.

As co-founder of TiVo Inc., Barton sets the technical vision for the company, with a special emphasis on integrating broadcast television and broadband content delivery with real-time Web services. He helped pioneer the use of Linux and other open-source software in consumer electronics. TiVo technology has served as the basis for DVR products from Sony, Pioneer, and Toshiba and other DVRs introduced throughout the world. Under Barton's leadership, TiVo created the first high-definition DVR for digital content from satellite providers as well as for the record and playback of over-the-air digital signals.

With an approach that emphasizes innovation and creativity, Barton continues to lead the development of new DVR technologies that impact consumers, programmers, advertisers and distributors. Helping viewers and advertisers alike, he led the creation of the first "DVR ads," which enable viewers to interactively click through a regular television ad for more information on a product. Through integrated, anonymous audience measurement capabilities, advertisers can receive direct feedback on the effectiveness of their ads and understand consumer viewing behaviors. He has provided broadband capabilities unique to TiVo and has incorporated home network capabilities, allowing customers to move programming to their computers and to access music and photos stored on the computer with the DVR.

An IEEE member, Barton holds of a number of patents and is a named inventor on 57 currently pending U.S. patent applications. He was named one of the "Top 25 Most Influential CTOs" by InfoWorld in 2001 and is a three-time National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award winner. Prior to co-founding TiVo Inc., Barton was president and chief executive officer of Network Age Software, Inc., which he founded to develop software products for managed electronic distribution. Barton received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1980 and his master's degree computer science in 1982, both from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is currently the senior vice president and chief technology officer at TiVo Inc., Alviso, Calif.

The IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1987 to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of consumer electronics technology. It may be presented annually to an individual or team of up to three. The Award is named in honor of Dr. Masaru Ibuka, Honorary Chairman and Co-Founder of Sony Corporation, whose innovative achievements and leadership in state of the art and have been an inspiration to several generations of electrical, electronics, and computer engineers.

Technical innovation, creativity, quality, timeliness, societal benefit, technology enhancement associated with achievement(s), leadership and professional contributions of the individual(s) identifiable with the achievements and the quality of the nomination are considered in the evaluation process. The award consists of a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium.

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May 5, 2012 (13:46)