Oscium wins ‘Oscar’ of innovation for oscilloscope device

And the R&D 100 Award goes to  — Oscium, a technology company with ties to Colorado Springs.

Known as the Oscars of innovation, the R&D 100 Award is given to the most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year, according to R&D Magazine.

Oscium took heavy test and measurement equipment, with its dials and knobs, and turned it into a matchbook size device that plugs into the iPad and iPhone, in order to take full advantage of touch screen technology.

The device already has received numerous awards, including becoming a finalist in the 2012 UBM Electronics ACE Awards in the test and measurement category, alongside technology giants as Tektronix and National Instruments; and in 2011 it received the Design Vision Award.

The company, which is headquartered in Oklahoma City and has an office and its executive team in the Springs, officially launched in May 2011.

The R&D 100 Awards will be presented Nov. 1 in Orlando. Being named to the list is a boost to the young company, said Bryan Lee, Oscium president who works from a Colorado Springs office.

“It helps builds trust immediately with our customer base,” he said. “When they see that we have won these accolades, it builds trust – that we are producing a product that is worthy of them purchasing.”

Engineers use oscilloscopes to test circuit designs, to debug and figure out what is wrong with the design. In recent years, test and measurement equipment innovation has focused on the speed of the device. But, not much was new in the way of making the oscilloscope smaller and more agile, Lee said.

And no one seemed to be developing devices that could be plugged into an iPhone or iPad, making that iPad a whole new device.

Lee formed the company in 2010 with his brother Matt Lee, who is the developer of the product and works from their Oklahoma City, Okla. office. The whole team will attend the R&D Magazine awards.

“It’s a black tie event – seeing the engineers in that attire will be fun,” Lee said. “The team totally deserves it. It’s a significant award; it crosses all kinds of equipment.”

Winners in this year’s competition include new methods for thin film deposition, nanoparticle-based materials, advances for laser systems, solar reflective roofing shingles, a light field camera and electronic focusing reading glasses, according to the R&D Magazine website.

“As the R&D 100 Awards marks 50 years of celebrating innovation, the editors are pleased to present this year’s winners as prime examples of advances in science and technology,” said Rita Peters, editorial director of R&D Magazine. “Despite a slow economy, the competition experienced a near record number of entries from around the world. This demonstrates that researchers are committed to innovate.”

According to the R&D website, the R&D 100 Awards have identified revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market. Many of these have become household names, helping shape everyday life for many Americans. These include the flashcube (1965), the automated teller machine (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the Kodak Photo CD (1991), the Nicoderm anti-smoking patch (1992), Taxol anticancer drug (1993), lab on a chip (1996), and HDTV (1998).