Yoshiro Nakamatsu (born June 26, 1928), a.k.a. Dr. NakaMats, is the Japanese inventor claiming to hold the world record for number of inventions with over 3,000, including the floppy disk and “PyonPyon” spring shoes.
He has been photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting). The goal of Nakamatsu is to live over 140 years old.
Smithsonian calls him the man with 3,300 patents to his name:
Nakamatsu—Dr. NakaMats, if you prefer, or, as he prefers, Sir Dr. NakaMats—is an inveterate and inexorable inventor whose biggest claim to fame is the floppy disk. “I became father of the apparatus in 1950,” says Dr. NakaMats, who conceived it at the University of Tokyo while listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. “There was no mother.”
Though Dr. NakaMats received a Japanese patent in 1952, this virgin birth is disputed by IBM, which insists its own team of engineers developed the device in 1969. Still, to avoid conflicts, Big Blue struck a series of licensing agreements with him in 1979. “My method of digitizing analog technology was the start of Silicon Valley and the information revolution,” Dr. NakaMats says. His voice is low, slow and patronizing, solicitously deliberate. “I am a cross between Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci.”
The floppy is only a short subject in the nonstop invention film that’s running in Dr. NakaMats’ brain. Among his other creations (he will earnestly tell you) are the CD, the DVD, the fax machine, the taxi meter, the digital watch, the karaoke machine, CinemaScope, spring-loaded shoes, fuel-cell-powered boots, an invisible “B-bust bra,” a water-powered engine, the world’s tiniest air conditioner, a self-defense wig that can be swung at an attacker, a pillow that prevents drivers from nodding off behind the wheel, an automated version of the popular Japanese game pachinko, a musical golf putter that pings when the ball is struck properly, a perpetual motion machine that runs on heat and cosmic energy and…much, much more, much of which has never made it out of the multiplex of his mind.