A lost invention

          Whenever we buy a smartphone our main concern remains to be prioritizing the memory storage. In 1956 IBM made 5 megabytes hard drive which was a kind of size to be carried on a truck but now 1 TB (terabyte) hard disk can be fitted in the palm of our hand and as the world is digitizing more advancement is seen in storage capacity which still remains not enough for our needs to store more data.

          Now, imagine playing 16 movies from a single 64 kb (kilobytes) chip, seems impossible right?! This was made possible by a Dutch electronics technician named Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot or Jan Sloot who developed a coding system known as the “Sloot coding system” in 1999. He didn’t change the size of the storage but changed the way of storing data in that particular amount of space by using his coding to compress data in a different way.

          The invention was worth of hundreds of billions and had the potential to revolutionize the world, knowing the capability of his work Jan Sloot demonstrated his technology to the Philips company executives by playing 16 movies simultaneously from single 64 kb chip but was reluctant to allow the close inspection of his device as he feared that it would be easily copied.

          Many investors came forward to invest among which ABN AMRO (a Dutch bank) agreed to invest $50 million and also made a $20 million advance payment to Sloot.

          However, Jan Sloot died of a heart attack in his garden on July 11th in 1999, just one day before he was due to hand over his technology to the investors. A key piece of his invention, a compiler stored in a floppy disk was missing, without which the technology would be worthless. Despite searching for months the disk was never found and appeared to be dead with his inventor.

a lost invention

          Some had speculated that Sloot was murdered because his invention was capable of uprooting most known and unknown existing companies which might have lead a conspiracy against him or his investors might have realized that they have been conned. A part of the population thinks that he might have faked his death.