1996 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Winner
|Photo courtesy of David Levy
"People think I live in a fantasy world," David Levy
commented in the December 6, 1999 issue of The New Yorker,
adding, "I do live in a fantasy world, but a rational fantasy
world." An independent inventor on the path to success, David
Levy has created his own world abound with inventions, such as the
world's smallest keypad. Levy has even established his own company
to market his products. In 1996, he was awarded the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT
Student Prize for his commitment to inventing.
Levy's career began with five years at Apple Computer where he
was instrumental to the PowerBook's designdeveloping the Touchpad
to replace the Trackball and repositioning the keyboard from the
front to the back of the panel. Dissatisfied in a corporate environment,
Levy left to pursue a Ph.D. and foster an independent worker's environment.
Levy's first product was Peelables™layered self-adhering
labels that peel off to uncover new oneswhich he licensed
to 3M and BASF for video cassettes and computer diskettes. In 1989,
he started his first company TH, Inc., (without venture capital)
to license his own patents.
Levy has concentrated much of his time on his Fastap™ keypad,
formerly known as OneTouch™. Recognized by the Guinness Book
of World Records as the world's smallest keypad, it is smaller than
a credit card but contains full-sized keys representing the alphabet,
a numeric pad and eight function keysall used in combination.
In late 2000, Levy created Digit Wireless, LLC to establish Fastap™
technology as an international ergonomic standard. In January 2005, the Fastap™ technology was made commercially available in phones.
Also included in Levy's list of inventions are the Wedgie™
bicycle seat lock, to prevent bicycle seats from being stolena
common problem in the urban environment; an "Improved Vascular
Splicing Method" using biocompatible O-rings to minimize blood
contamination and reduce the time to seal blood vessels during surgery;
and the Pass-It™ TV remote control, designed to be thrown
around like a football (co-invented with 1997 Lemelson-MIT Student
Prize winner Nathan Kane).
Levy received his B.S., M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1997) in Mechanical
Engineering from MIT. A Manhattan Beach, CA native, with over a
dozen patents, he also serves as "Inventor in Residence"
to the Arthur D. Little Company. According to Levy, "Inventing
is the best career I know."