American sound pioneer Ray Dolby, whose technology is used in theatres around the world, has died at the age of 80. Dolby passed away on Thursday (12Sep13) in San Francisco, California. He had been battling Alzheimer's Disease in recent years, and was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July (13). He founded his famous Dolby Laboratories in 1964, and his early work was aimed at noise reduction systems. In the 1970s, masterminds at the firm came up with Dolby Stereo, an analogue system for film playback, and a consumer version of the technology, called Dolby Surround, was debuted in 1982. His work was honoured with an Emmy and an Academy Award (Scientific or Technical) in 1989, and Dolby was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2004. The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, where the Academy Awards are annually held, also bears his name after Dolby Laboratories bosses signed a 20-year rights deal in 2012. In June (13), it was announced that Dolby would be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year (14).