Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Technology

Dr. NakaMats Is the World's Most Prolific Inventor 194

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the patent-troll-slayer dept.
MMBK writes to share an interesting look at Dr. "NakaMats" Nakamatsu, mastermind behind a world-record 3,000 patents. The 81-year-old scientist has inventions like the "PyonPyon" spring shoes, the karaoke machine, and others. He's also at least partly to blame for things like the digital watch, the floppy disk, and CDs. "Dr. Nakamatsu harbors other ambitions too: in 2007, he took his penchant for political campaigning to a new level, becoming a candidate in the gubernatorial election in Tokyo, and the election for the Upper House. Although he failed to get a seat, Dr. NakaMats has other tricks up his sleeve. In 2005 he was awarded the Ig Nobel prize for Nutrition, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting). By the time he dies at the age of 144 (a goal he maintains with an elaborate daily ritual that rejuvenates his body and triggers his creative process), he intends to patent 6,000 inventions."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dr. NakaMats Is the World's Most Prolific Inventor

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:08PM (#31375602)

    [Removed for patent infringement]

  • by Will2k_is_here (675262) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:12PM (#31375638) Homepage

    I don't think he's invented Hamburger Earmuffs (TM) yet. He's likely still struggling with the pickle matrix.

  • Unless he's invented (Score:2, Informative)

    by afidel (530433)
    A way to cap telomere's he's not going to see 144. Antioxidants can keep in-gene encoding errors low but when the telomere's unravel there's nothing we can currently do to reverse the effects.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:23PM (#31375748)
      starting sentences in your subject line the continuing them in your post. Damn is that irritating.
    • by Gerafix (1028986) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:25PM (#31375800)
      He's Japanese, just give him some used electronics, a paper clip, and some used panties and he'll whip up a Super Fun Time Telomere Re-Raveler.
      • by srussia (884021)

        He's Japanese, just give him some used electronics, a paper clip, and some used panties and he'll whip up a Super Fun Time Telomere Re-Raveler.

        In fact, forget the electronics and the paperclip!

      • He's Japanese, just give him some used electronics, a paper clip, and some used panties

        All of which can be found or purchased at any train platform in Japan; they have vending machines there for things you didn't even think it was possible to vend.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jay L (74152) *

      he's not going to see 144

      Man, you people complain when projects are behind schedule, you complain when projects are -ahead- of schedule... Slashdotters are never happy.

    • There is a way, telomerase [wikipedia.org], an enzyme produced naturally by the body that adds DNA sequence repeats to the end of DNA strands. Scientifically we don't know much about telomeres or telomerase, but there is no reason to believe that with a correct diet/exercise/sleep/stress management, he wouldn't be able to naturally produce more telomerase in his body.

      The science around telomeres and telomerase is not very clear, and a few quotes from the 'pedia [wikipedia.org] should help you see how unclear the subject is:

      it is not even certain whether the relationship between telomeres and aging is causal. Changing telomere lengths are usually associated with changing speed of senescence. This telomere shortening, however, might be a consequence of, and not a reason for, aging.

      in vitro studies (von Zglinicki et al. 1995, 2000) have shown that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress. Telomere shortening due to free radicals......has a greater absolute impact on telomere length than shortening caused by the end-replication problem.

      In 2003, scientists observed that the telomeres of Leach's Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) seem to lengthen with chronological age, the first observed instance of such behaviour of telomeres

      As you can s

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      A way to cap telomere's he's not going to see 144. Antioxidants can keep in-gene encoding errors low but when the telomere's unravel there's nothing we can currently do to reverse the effects.

      I'm going to need a citation for the rate here to prove he wouldn't be able to make it to 144. One person [wikipedia.org] lived to 122. I have no idea what she eventually died of, but I don't see any evidence to suggest that 22 more years would be impossible due to telomere shortening. How fast the telomere burns down until further cell proliferation is no longer possible, how many divisions this requires, and how many divisions are happening in the important tissues per year? Because I don't think most of those things

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by afidel (530433)
        Actually keeping you from getting cancer is exactly what antioxidants are good for. Neurons do in fact divide (or at least we now know new neurons do grow, not sure if the genesis of that growth is known). The upper bound on divisions for cells appears to be about 50 (known as the Hayflick limit) which is speculated to be at the heart of current human maximum lifespan with other factors causing the majority of deaths before the limit is reached for key stem cells.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by interkin3tic (1469267)

          Neurons do in fact divide (or at least we now know new neurons do grow, not sure if the genesis of that growth is known).

          Some of that is in fact known [wikipedia.org], it's not the neurons dividing, it's a niche of neuronal stem cells (not neurons themselves) producing new neurons. Notably, it's the subventricular zone [wikipedia.org] and the subgranular zone. The SVZ for certain and the subgranular zone I'm pretty sure don't contain mature neurons. The proliferative cells of the SVZ are well known to not be neurons. In fact, several factors that seem to be important to actually being a mature neuron appear to stop the cell cycle and prevent cell divis

    • by kalirion (728907)

      Maybe his rejuvenating ritual includes bathing in fetal stem cells?

  • TFA is a video. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bughunter (10093) <bughunter@noSPaM.earthlink.net> on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:18PM (#31375692) Journal

    Warning: TFA is a video with a summary that's got little more than what's in the submission: Naka is obsessive about his food, and wants to run for office.

    I know I'm not the only one who doesn't have patience for video articles. It's like sitting in class waiting for the teacher to explain every concept at the speed of the slowest learner in class. I can read a written article in 1/5th the time it takes me to watch a video.

    Besides. Video is so twentieth century.

    (My lawn. You're standing on it.)

    • by Drethon (1445051)
      Not to mention when you are browsing from work and they block a majority of video services or you don't want to listen to audio. I just want five minutes or less to read an article and back to work thanks...
      • by Jeng (926980)

        Agreed.

        My computer speakers at work aren't even plugged into my computer, they're plugged into the MP-3 player.

    • TLDW -- Too Long; Didn't Watch?
      How many forms of lazy can one cater to? If it were written down, others might say it was too long -- and most Slashdotters don't RTFA anyway, they barely skim the summary. Next we'll be slashdotting twitter messages.
    • by ukemike (956477)
      so the correct acronym when someone is being clueless would be WTFV instead of RTFA.
    • I agree... never watch video articles. I don't want to watch TV, let alone a shitty low-rez version of TV that needs to constantly buffer on my slow internet.

  • Bah (Score:2, Interesting)

    by derGoldstein (1494129)
    I'm feeling vitriolic, so I'll start the trolling thread:
    Having a sheer amount of parents simply means that he's a frequent flier at the the parent office. The real question is how much of an impact his inventions have made. The storage-related inventions (like the floppy) are mostly attributed to other inventors, where he solved part of the problem, but didn't invent the whole package. Personally I wouldn't put much weight on the spring shoes (no pun intended), and anyone who even participated in the popu
    • by SomeJoel (1061138)

      Having a sheer amount of parents simply means that he's a frequent flier at the the parent office.

      This is definitely true. Most people stop at 1 or 2, and some unfortunate people don't have any at all. To be fair though, the office is often in a bad part of town.

    • Re:Bah (Score:5, Funny)

      by frosty_tsm (933163) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:25PM (#31375790)

      I'm feeling vitriolic, so I'll start the trolling thread: Having a sheer amount of parents simply means that he's a frequent flier at the the parent office.

      I don't think that's how it works; 2 is the max. However, having a sheer amount of children means he's a frequent flier of something else and not a fan of protection. :-)

    • Wow, I actually repeated the error. Freudian?...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dishevel (1105119) *

      anyone who even participated in the popularization of karaoke should be tried by an international court.

      Tried. Fuck that. Nuke the bastard from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      anyone who even participated in the popularization of karaoke should be tried by an international court.

      I know! Fucking assholes having fun *singing*! How dare they! Bastards!

      • by Hucko (998827)

        It isn't the 'singing' people can reasonably object to; it is the 'in public' that the problem lies. Of course, often once the latter occurs, the former becomes objectionable too.

        • by scotch (102596)
          Wait, you go to a bar that features public singing, and the you complain that there is public singing? You might want to have that looked at.
          • by Hucko (998827)

            Heh, seems we must do it differently here (Qld, Australia). You make it sound like you go to a bar to sing!? Bars are for drinking at.

            Here you go to a bar for a quiet beer, watch some hotties dance and watch sport on the Bigscreen. Then some dickhead sets up a mic to the sound system, replaces the sport/video clips* with words and then encourage other dickheads to sing.

  • by ffflala (793437) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:23PM (#31375750)

    He's got nothing on Shampoo.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      You shouldn't use shampoo, you should wash your hair with real poo.

    • He's got nothing on Shampoo.

      This is Slashdot, most of the readers don't know what (non-caffeinated) soap is, much less shampoo!

      • by Hucko (998827)

        I don't know what *caffeinated* soap is. Another TV show that hasn't been imported to Australia?

  • Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bit01 (644603) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:24PM (#31375766)

    He is not necessarily the world's most prolific inventor but simply the one with the most patents. They are not the same thing despite what the patent lobby would have you believe.

    ---

    Creating simple artificial scarcity with copyright and patents on things that can be copied billions of times at minimal cost is a fundamentally stupid economic idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433)
      Even still it's pretty damn impressive considering Edison who had an entire research and development team working for him only had 1093 patents [google.com]!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)

        Edison who had an entire research and development team working for him only had 1093 patents!

        However, those were the days when patents meant something. You had to walk to the patent office uphill both ways. It always snowed. You had to type your submissions.

        And those funny little drawings? By hand. In the dark.

  • by y4ku (1681156) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:24PM (#31375774)
    I found an article detailing this daily regiment of his. I don't know how good sleeping only 4 hours a night and getting nourishment from a powder composed of 55 essential nutrients is. Here it is: http://www.brainsturbator.com/articles/yoshiro_nakamatsu_we_salute_you/ [brainsturbator.com] Fascinating man.
    • by plover (150551) *

      I found an article detailing this daily regiment of his.

      Is that the 1st Regiment of the Imperial Guard? Because I'm pretty sure they dissolved the Emperor's Guard after WWII, or at least made it a part of the civilian police force.

      Not sure why he'd eat members of the regiment on a daily basis, though. Even ground into a powder, that'd still be like eating soylent green. Nasty.

    • by nido (102070) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (65odin)> on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:03PM (#31376758) Homepage

      That's a very interesting article - thanks for sharing.

      There were two parts that I think are very important. The first is about his inventive process:

      Inventing is a Dangerous Business

      What really sold me on Dr. Nakamats was when I came across the following passage from some German interview. The question was one the author has probably asked hundreds of times--"so, where do you get your ideas?"--and Nakamatsu has the last answer anyone but him would ever suspect:

      (picture of person holding their breath underwater)
      Is there a secret to becoming an inventor? How do you come up with new ideas?

              I am teaching philosophy at the University of Tokyo. The base for everything is a strong spirit, followed by a strong body, hard studies, experience and finally leads to a "trigger" experience. You "trigger" a bullet which contains spirit, body, study and experience - and finally that releases the actual invention.

      How do you "trigger" an invention?

              A lack of oxygen is very important.

      A lack? Isn't that dangerous?

              It's very dangerous. I get that Flash just 0.5 sec before death. I remain under the surface until this trigger comes up and I write it down with a special waterproof plexiglas writing pad I invented.

      Do you do that a lot? Putting yourself in that kind of situation to come up with a new invention?

              Of course. This is the Dr. Nakamatsu method.

      U.S. Creativity expert Win Wenger, PhD talks about the mammalian diving response [winwenger.com] as a way for anyone to increase blood flow to the brain, thereby increasing one's intelligence. When the Co2 concentration in a mammal's blood rises, arteries to the brain open up so that the brain doesn't starve to death. With repetition, the arteries become permanently enlarged.

      I myself have spent some time holding my breath underwater at the pool. I haven't done the full 30-day protocol, but at one point I built up to over 2 minutes underwater. This is not a lot (the record for free diving is over 19 minutes [telegraph.co.uk]), but many people can only hold their breath for 15 seconds...

      Furthermore, we had a pool in our backyard when I was a kid (before I turned 5), and I remember doing held-breath underwater swimming then. I'd dive down to pick stuff up off the bottom of the pool, and swim through underwater rings.

      Furthermore, I had a VHS copy of Star Trek IV, and I repeatedly tried to hold my breath for the entire time that Captain Kirk (or was it Mr. Spock?) held his breath to release the whales, after the bird of prey crashed into San Francisco Bay... I was never able to do it, but I now think the effort was good for something.

      I don't know that I'm a genius now, but I think I do pretty well.

      According to Dr. NakaMats' research, the unhealthy body has a poor blood circulation to extremities resulting cold feet. This is the same state with the stressed body in which your sympathetic nervous system took over parasympathetic nervous system. Sympathetic nervous system anticipates your body for "fight-or-flight" situation.

      My hands were cold as ice for a long time... Then I built a "radial appliance", which is said to balance the body's parasympathetic nervous system. My hands are now warm.

      I think my website (above) links to the radial appliance stuff... This is kooky esoteric shit, so don't bother clicking if you just want to scoff...

      Anyways, thanks again for the link!

  • by msauve (701917)

    photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed

    That sounds like past tense. Yuck.

  • ...he was awarded the Ig Nobel prize for Nutrition, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years

    Am I going to get a Nobel prize for all of my zany OCD's too? I'd like to open with my daily organization of my shoes based on the size of the animal their leather was crafted from. I also forbid myself to have a bowel movement during the 8th day of the lunar cycle (don't ask how I regulate this). There's two right there. Scanned PDF's of the awards will be just fine. I'll append this post with the rest later (after I'm done organizing my shoes).

    • by Dynedain (141758)

      Ig Nobel != Nobel

      Ig Nobel

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vadim_t (324782)

      Ig Nobel (note the Ig) prizes are awarded for weird, but actual research. Unless there was some scientific value to your organization of shoes you wouldn't get one. His photographing of his food is at very least interesting for nutrition. It looks like he also did some sort of analysis on it, though I can't find what exactly. So, this is actually a very long running study, and not just an OCD thing.

    • Am I going to get a Nobel prize for all of my zany OCD's too?

      If I don't turn the light on and off 23 times every time I leave the house, my family will be kidnapped. I don't want an award for this, I'm just glad I've finally found someone who can relate.

  • a goal he maintains with an elaborate daily ritual that rejuvenates his body and triggers his creative process

    He should apply for a process patent on that ritual.

  • responsible for a universe of genius gadgets you probably use every day, like the “PyonPyon” spring shoes [pingmag.jp], the karaoke machine, CinemaScope [wikipedia.org], the “Cerebrex” armchair, the sauce pump, the taxicab meter, and a hydrogen-powered engine.

    ...no, I can’t say I’ve used ANY of those. Ever!

    Well, I think I did ride in a hydrogen-powered vehicle a couple of times.

  • I could have sworn that Shampoo had him beat...or are we only considering successful inventions?

  • World's most prolific patenter could be more accurate way to describe him. Not taking away his merit, but maybe in the past there was more people that invented more things, but as not documented or patented their inventons aren't taken into account.
  • He also at least partly to blame for things like the digital watch...

    Digital watches are great. They're multi-functional, cheap, accurate, low maintainable, and sturdy.

    I know human factors/designer types have their diatribe about them, but they're just being whiny.

  • Lack of Oxygen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@nOspAm.gmail.com> on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:43PM (#31376002) Homepage Journal

    Now this is just weird:

    How do you “trigger” an invention?
    A lack of oxygen is very important.

    A lack? Isn’t that dangerous?
    It’s very dangerous. I get that Flash just 0.5 sec before death. I remain under the surface until this trigger comes up and I write it down with a special waterproof plexiglas writing pad I invented.

    From This longer article [brainsturbator.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by derGoldstein (1494129)
      Kids today are doing something completely different just prior to choking.
      (if you got that reference, I'm almost as sorry for you as I am for me)
      • It's not as obscure as you might think, anymore. Sean Connery starred in a movie called Rising Sun that revolved around the practice.

        Or maybe I didn't get the reference...

        • Didn't see that movie, but two posts down SlappyBastard actually knew the name for this "practice"... I had hoped it didn't have a name. I really did. I had to google that and now I'm wondering if I can "choke away" my short-term memory.
    • Now this is just weird:

      How do you “trigger” an invention? A lack of oxygen is very important.

      You're telling me this shit-eating prick also holds the patent on autoerotic asphyxiation?

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday March 05, 2010 @05:46PM (#31376018)

    I believe there's a special place in hell reserved for the inventor of the karaoke machine. I'm pretty sure it was even mentioned in Dante's Inferno - he walked past a "reserved for..." sign just before seeing Brutus, Cassius, and Judas Iscariot.

  • Call me skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by osgeek (239988) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:00PM (#31376160) Homepage Journal

    Okay, the guy is 81. I hate to rip on him too much, but it really seems like he's mostly known for submitting patents.

    None of the floppy disk history that I looked up mentioned anything about him except that IBM has some deal with him to prevent a "conflict". Patent troll? The CD history I glanced through didn't mention him either. At best, I think he could say that he made some minor contribution to the CD - not that he had invented it. The video showed a bunch of his other inventions, like a magical chair that makes you more creative or something. He mentioned that a US cancer patient wanted to sit in it. And that proves what? Quack quack quack.

    Then he's ragging on Edison in the video... a guy who actually invented useful shit.

    Seems like a bit of a whack job with an image of himself out of proportion to what he's actually accomplished.

    • Edison invented useful shit, sure. DocNakaMats invents ways to use his own shit. See? See?

      Crazy fucka 4 life, all 144 years of it!!

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Friday March 05, 2010 @10:52PM (#31378150)

      Thank you for this post. This guy's been making the rounds again, and everytime he's been shown to be a borderline nut and a chronic patent applyer. Getting a patent is simply a matter of money, not ability, talent, or creativity. Apple has patents on sliding your finger across a touch screen and Amazon has its infamous one-click patent. Companies like Tivo find it more profitable to sue over patents than to actually sell a product.

      This guy represents nothing but the lax process of getting a patent mixed in with some medical quackery.

  • Other articles have covered him as a nutjob who claims to have invented things which he had no hand in. He's definately a controversial figure with some controversial claims. This story sorta just took him at his word . . .

  • by G00F (241765) on Friday March 05, 2010 @06:20PM (#31376332) Homepage

    The linked is a video that takes to long to watch, read this one instead.

    http://www.wishtank.org/magazine/commons/yoshiro_nakamatsu_we_salute_you1 [wishtank.org]

  • Is the wacky gene associated with the longevity gene? Or is it just associated with the really smart gene?
  • This guy sounds like the most prolific patent filer, not necessarily the most prolific inventor.
  • 144 years of checking my poo and filing patents just doesn't sound like a life worth living.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

Working...