Article Type: Obituary
Subject: Electrical engineers (Biography)
Pub Date: 03/01/2012
Publication: Name: Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness Publisher: American Foundation for the Blind Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 American Foundation for the Blind ISSN: 0145-482X
Issue: Date: March, 2012 Source Volume: 106 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 540 Executive changes & profiles
Product: Product Code: 8527030 Electrical Engineers NAICS Code: 54133 Engineering Services
Organization: Organization: Stanford University
Persons: Biographee: Bliss, James C.
Accession Number: 284552286
Full Text: James C. Bliss, a pioneer in the development of technology for people who are visually impaired and cofounder of Telesensory Systems, died recently. Hailing from Texas, Dr. Bliss spent his formative years studying electrical engineering; he earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, a master's degree from Stanford University, and a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his engineering career at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California. While working as an associate professor at Stanford University, he collaborated with colleague and Professor John Linviii to develop a reading machine for Dr. Linvill's daughter, Candy, who was blind. After several years of development, the result was a portable reading system called the Optacon, which used a camera to scan printed text and generate tactile images of the print letters with an array of rods.

In 1971, Dr. Bliss cofounded Telesensory Systems to manufacture and disseminate the Optacon, as well as other products and technologies, including speech synthesis, for people with visual impairments. He served as President of Telesensory for over 20 years. He was also instrumental in founding several other Silicon Valley companies, as well as his own, JBliss Imaging, which he founded and ran for 5 years after leaving Telesensory. In 2007 he received the Migel Medal, the highest honor in the blindness field, from the American Foundation for the Blind. In retirement, Dr. Bliss served on the Santa Clara County Advisory Commission for Persons with Disabilities and the Los Altos Hills Pathway Committee.

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