Charlie Walton, one of the founding fathers of RFID, has passed away at the age of 89, according to Venture Beat. Walton lived in Los Gatos, Calif. with his wife Ann Walton.
Walton grew up as a ham radio enthusiast. He was raised in Maryland and New York and studied electrical engineering at Cornell University. He went to work at IBM’s research labs in 1960, where he studied analog and digital computing. In 1970, he went out on his own as an inventor with his own company, Proximity Devices, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Walton broke new ground with creation of a RFID operated door lock in the 1970s and 1980s. This won him a licensing agreement with lock maker Schlage, which used it to make electronic locks similar to ones found today that open by simply waving a key card.
The invention earned Walton much recognition. He was featured as a guest on the TV quiz show “What’s My Line?”, and his invention was mentioned in articles about electronic locks in Business Week and Popular Science in 1973. In 2007, Walton also wrote a book about the things around us that we cannot see entitled, “The Space Before Your Face.”
To read more about Charlie Walton and his contributions click here.