The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation presented the 39th annual National Inventor of the Year Award to a Rochester Institute of Technology graduate.
Alex Kipman ’01 (software engineering) was honored Dec. 10 for his role on the team that invented Kinect, the motion-sensing input device developed for the Xbox 360 video game system and Windows PCs.
Kinect turns players into the controller with the user directing the Xbox through body movements. Kipman is the general manager of hardware incubation for the Interactive Entertainment Business unit at Microsoft. He is the primary inventor of Kinect and is named on 60 patents directly related to Kinect.
“Kinect has allowed us to yield a lasting difference in the computer industry,” Kipman said when accepting the award. “Make no mistake, it signals the start of a paradigm shift where we move from a world where we have to understand technology and we shift into a world where technology fundamentally understands us.”
The National Inventor of the Year Award fosters the spirit of American innovation and highlights the protection offered to inventors by the patent system. It is one of a number of programs of the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation, a non profit subsidiary of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, for educating the public on the importance of intellectual property rights to the economy.
The award has previously been presented to those responsible for the Jarvik Seven Artificial Heart and Bose speaker technology.
RIT and the Washington, D.C., alumni chapter honored Kipman with a reception on Dec. 9.