Roland Moreno, talented self-taught

Roland Moreno (1945-2012), born in Egypt to a mother in love with France, chose the novelty camp. With an incredible and countless number of creations, patents, innovations and projects…

“Research is money that turns into knowledge. Innovation is knowledge turned into money. »

Entrepreneurship is a jungle from which the fauna consists of such rare prototypes and species that they leave an indelible mark on the entire ecosystem and it is eternal.

These cases are seldom studied, rarely celebrated and often forgotten despite all the contributions and all the legacy that belongs to them.

“Geniuses” are often misunderstood because they are significantly superior to the vast majority of their contemporaries.

So they are visionaries. Of course, they reject these characteristics out of modesty, politeness, shyness, and false modesty. But that’s not the point, let’s focus on one of them today.

Roland Moreno has had an exceptional career as someone who knows how to escape the mold of studies, frameworks and preconceived ideas. Therefore, he left the faculty benches, preferring an active life and spending his time disassembling amplifiers, radios and loudspeakers, in order to better understand their operation, gears, mechanisms and springs.

With an artistic spirit like an anarchist. As a music lover. Interesting as a creator. Some will be considered “punk” and “libertarian”, while others will be considered transgressive…

Roland Moreno is an original inventor (he preferred the term “interesting” because he was not constantly inventing), intuitive, talented, advanced in school for his age, and completely self-taught.

Former journalist, businessman and big fan of electronics and IT.

It was his compulsive reading of a Science Fiction book that inspired his first patent application: the ring (with information stored in internal memory).

He also invents Radoteur (software that invents new words by creating associations and neologisms) and also Matapof (Tossing machine).

In 1972, Roland Moreno first created a structure called “Innovatron” in an associative form with the aim of bringing his ideas to the market, the success of which would later become SA.

In 1974, he had an incredibly disruptive, original and innovative idea, but above all it was very useful (compared to his earlier inventions, which were more “fun”):

Payment chip card

After the concept and foundations are laid, its internal processing focuses primarily on the simplicity of the electronic circuit on the chip. Simplicity coupled with extreme security to ensure smooth banking operations.

Roland Moreno was the first to patent it (2 Germans already had the same idea, but never patenting it) and in 1975 he added countless additions that were essential to bring his invention to perfection. , that is, control of the secret code on the chip by the card reader.

Errors detected by the “system” that cause the chip to self-destruct and/or enhance protection of confidential information.

This innovation had to be protected by a series of patents that were both impenetrable and inviolable (this is done by at least 43 patents issued between 1974 and 1975 for this invention of the payment chip card alone, remember that he was the first to do this). The second challenge, and not least, was to convince manufacturers to accept this major innovation in order to be able to make payments (to merchants) and cash withdrawals (from ATMs).

And it was his tendency to know how to overcome these various obstacles that made the man we know and his indelible mark.

Starting with the microprocessor (invented by INTEL in 1971), it improves the concept (it was originally a ring) to perfect it, strengthening security like never before.

Equipped with memory, the processor communicates directly with the reader where you can enter your secret code. Then the chip performs the encryption calculation. It’s the same for the reader. The result must be the same on all sides, so that the operation really and concretely succeeds.

He also took advantage of the advent of smart cards in 1977 and attracted the interest of banks where he would sit for 10 years, convincing them:

– preparing maps;

– equipping all merchants with readers compatible with adequate and payment solutions – developing the telematics network (10 years before Minitel!);
– large-scale installation of ATMs to democratize these solutions.

In addition to this industrial visit, Roland Moreno was able to resist numerous attacks from unscrupulous industrialists (IBM, Philips, Siemens, Bull, etc.) who did everything to crush him, trying to restore his innovation and cancel his patents. incessant legal battles.

Finally, the smart card was only accepted in 1986, and it wasn’t until 2011 that card banking surpassed check transactions in France.

Inventor of the microprocessor-less memory chip card. His revolutionary invention finds many outlets and applications, including:

– as we have seen before, Smart Bank Card (and all related payment systems).
– Telephone Card (at the time of France Télécom booths. The cards were then sold especially in tobacco shops. With the success of the mobile phone and the introduction of mobile networks, the booth system was gradually abandoned by France Télécom. becomes orange).
– SIM card for mobile phones.
– Pass Navigo (actually a remotely readable RFID chip for data transmission) resulting from a collaboration between Innovatron and RATP (Roland Moreno will wait 8 years to convince!). This technology will also be used for Velib.
– Carte Vitale (of course for social security)
– PIAF (Individual Corrugated Parking Meter)

Smart card entered the public domain in 1998. This innovation brought Innovatron a total of 150 million euros.

Despite this fortune, Innovatron would experience both financial and industrial failures when it invested in industrialization projects in the 90s and 2000s.

In 1999, this wonderful music lover created Audionet, a patented system for listening to and enjoying copyrighted music where an Audionet tuner is installed (an internet-connected stereo that provides access to today’s music stock). on servers thanks to identification with an Audionet smart card).

In 2001, Roland Moreno created Bachotron, an electronic re-orchestration of classical pieces.

In 2002, it is the invention of Célimène, where great lyrics are worked on popular pieces of music.

In 2002, Roland Moreno sold his shares to Gemplus (a French smart card manufacturer), but remained at the head of Innovatron, which continued to collect payments on contactless cards (such as Pass’ Navigo). Gemplus will be acquired in 2006 by Axalto of the Netherlands and renamed Gemalto, while Schlumberger will leave this field and this sector of activity…

Gemplus will have created more than 10,000 jobs with Roland Moreno and his inventions.

In 2003, he resurfaced with the undecideds website, which (as its creator) consisted of a series of wacky and weird questionnaires to discover your twin.

Before his death, Roland Morena was also working on an Online Poker site and was considering developing new games for television.

The media nicknamed him the French Bill Gates and predicted a future as a billionaire if he settled in the US and Silicon Valley. I’m not sure that the California lifestyle would have suited Roland Moreno, lavish and exuberant, discreetly sedentary and Parisian, passionate about his projects and able to “resist” the unique opportunities and many pitfalls.

Roland Moreno filled our wallets with his cards and managed to fill the wallet, if not his main driving force.

He was very proud to see this restrained and modest vision, his creativity, his denial and his harshness enter the vocabulary and daily lives of millions (billions!) all over the planet who are still unknowingly profiting. the man who is in reality and has everything of a great man.

MEJRI Bassem

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