John Karlin, keypad designer, dies at 94

Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:21 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Bell Labs industrial psychologist John E. Karlin, who designed the touch-tone telephone keypad, has died at age 94.

Karlin died Jan. 28, The New York Times reported Saturday. There was no word on cause of death or where Karlin died.

He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 28, 1918, and moved to the United States after receiving a master's degree in psychology from the University of Cape Town.

In the United States, Karlin earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1942. He later became a research associate at Harvard, studying electrical engineering there and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Karlin joined Bell Labs in 1945, where he and a team of subordinates created the touch-tone phone key pad layout, which became the basis for designs on countless other commonly used items, including as ATM's, gas pumps, door locks, vending machines and medical equipment, the Times said.

"He was the one who introduced the notion that behavioral sciences could answer some questions about telephone design," said Ed Israelski, an engineer who worked under Karlin at Bell Labs in the 1970s.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
Hurricane Katrina nine years later
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Apple reportedly delays launch of rumored iWatch
New space debris monitoring facility set for Australia
Type Ia supernovas: the zombies of the cosmos
Trending News