Peter Vogel (computer designer)

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Peter Vogel
Born (1954-08-30) August 30, 1954 (age 64)
Sydney, Australia
Known forInventor and technologist

Peter Vogel (born 30 August 1954, Sydney) is an Australian inventor and technologist known for developing the Fairlight CMI.


In his youth Vogel was interested in science, particularly electronics. In the late 1960s he won a number of awards,[1] for science research projects. He obtained his first patent (for a telephone trunk barring device) at the age of 16, and has been named the inventor on many patents since then.

He has worked in the electronics industry since graduating from high school in 1972. His first major achievement was the development of the world's first commercial sound sampling electronic musical instrument, the Fairlight CMI. Along with his school friend Kim Ryrie, Vogel was co-founder of Fairlight, the company that made the CMI from 1975 to 1999.

In 1982, he designed a medical emergency response device called Vitalcall. As of 2016, he returned to this field as Chief Technology Officer of Vitalcare, an Australian medical alarm service for the aged.[2]

In 1988 Vogel started Right Hemisphere Pty Ltd. This took him from the field of sound and vision processing to the wider realm of computers and communications.

Around the time of starting Right Hemisphere, Vogel filed a number of patents for inventions in the television field, including an on-screen program guide. His inventions included a device for removing commercials from TV recordings, which decades later brought him into conflict with certain television broadcasters.[who?]

In 2003, Vogel closed down Right Hemisphere to concentrate on developing IceTV.[3] IceTV provided Australia's first subscription-based electronic program guide for television, offering a TiVo-like service including the ability to remotely instruct digital video recorders, to record content using mobile phones and internet browsers.

In 2006 IceTV was sued by the Nine Network who alleged that IceTV's electronic program guide (EPG) breached their copyright. The financial damage caused by the lawsuit resulted in Vogel losing his job as Chief Technical Officer of IceTV. He left IceTV in October 2006 and with three other professionals with expertise in technology, media and commerce, started a new consultancy, Vogel Ross Pty Limited.[4]

The Nine Network vs IceTV case was fought all the way to the High Court of Australia, which in 2009 ruled in IceTV's favour. The decision has been described in legal circles as a significant landmark in Australian copyright law.[5][6]

After re-establishing Fairlight Instruments in August 2009[7] and releasing the CMI-30A, the 30th anniversary model of the Fairlight CMI,[8] and Fairlight iOS apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad,[9] Vogel renamed Fairlight Peter Vogel Instruments in July 2012. When announcing the name change, the company indicated a new range of synthesisers was being developed.[10]

As of 2017, however, visitors to the Vogel website are greeted with an advisory that the new CMI is currently not for sale due to litigation from the former owners of the Fairlight trademark. This stems from a lawsuit filed by Vogel against the holders of the Fairlight Instruments trademark, claiming that the license to use the Fairlight name was unfairly revoked. Fairlight counters that the reason for the revocation was that the use of the name extended only to the CMI-30A hardware, not to the iOS app, and that Vogel himself had violated the agreement.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Peter's Geek File". Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Where Dementia, big data and IoT meet" (Press release). Vitalcare. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Online TV Guide for Australian Free-To-Air TV". IceTV. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Vogel Ross". Vogel Ross. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  5. ^ Nine Network v IceTV[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Copyright Law Nine v IceTV Archived 9 July 2009 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  7. ^ "Fairlight CMI 30A: When Pioneers Re-emerge, What Does The Future Hold For Music Technology?" Archived 21 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Mark A. Galang, GearWire Newsletter, August 3, 2009.
  8. ^ "CMI-30A - NAMM 2011 - Fairlight Instruments - Previews The Next Generation System" Archived 19 February 2013 at Jack Hertz, Encyclotronica, January 3, 2011.
  9. ^ "Fairlight Instruments Fairlight App Released For IOS" Tracy Katz, GearWire Newsletter, March 18, 2011.
  10. ^ "A Facelift for Fairlight Instruments" PVI website, July 2, 2012.

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