Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Renowned inventor gives tips to innovators while being honored in Manitou Springs

By Garrison Wells Updated: May 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm 0

Eat just one meal a day, deprive yourself of oxygen underwater and ingest a brain food concoction of your own creation and you, too, might someday lay claim to being one of the world's top inventors.

Those are among the secrets of Yoshiro Nakamatsu, the brain behind more than 3,400 patents that led to solar panels, flat screen televisions, CDs and DVDs.

He also takes credit for the floppy disk, although that is disputed by IBM, which nonetheless signed license agreements with him.

Somewhere along the way, he founded the Dr. NakaMats Innovation Institute, Dr. NakaMats World University and the World Genius Convention.

On Saturday, Dr. NakaMats, as he prefers to be called, fielded questions and comments from about 20 people at the Comfort Inn in Manitou Springs as part of Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu Day.

The Manitou Springs City Council voted unanimously earlier in the week to join the ranks of about 15 other cities that have a day in honor of the man who described himself as "a cross between Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci" in a Smithsonian Magazine article in 2012.

"We were interested in giving people a chance to meet a luminary," said John McGinnis, president of the Tesla Society of Colorado Springs, which hosted the event. "He's a very intelligent and generous man."

Invention, said Nakamatsu, who lives in Tokyo, is part of his DNA.

His grandfather, a physician, also was an inventor.

"It's a tradition in my family," he said. "This is natural that I am doing inventions."

For those who yearn to be inventors, there's a sort-of stepladder to success.

The first step, said Nakamatsu, is spirit. You need to be indomitable.

Second is to be strong in the body, followed by lots of study, experience and the trigger that gets the invention on its way.

"You must study many things," he said. "I studied 360 degrees. You must study everything."

Experience is key, he said, and at 86, he believes his experience is leading to better inventions.

"We must know society, we must know the world, we must know people," he said.

Nakamatsu also told visitors that he uses his own money for his inventions. Borrowing from others limits the freedom of the inventor.

"Freedom of intelligence is important," he said.

But perhaps most importantly, he said, inventions must be practical.

The world needs inventors, he said. And today's needs include health-based inventions, storage for data and ways to develop energy. His own projects include a cure for cancer, robots that surpass the theory of Artificial Intelligence, solar panels that work even in the dark, new batteries and better storage for the world's massive supply of information.

His latest idea is an indoor energy generator.

"Everybody can generate their own electricity," he said. "We're not talking about a dream. This is real."

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