The prize was received for Olympus' Super Sonic Wave Filter dust reduction system, which was developed for the company's first digital SLR, 2003's Olympus E-1. The technology offered a unique and effective solution to the problem of dust adversely affecting image quality.
Mot only has the SSWF system been retained for every subsequent Olympus DSLR, but it has also been mimicked by many of the company's rivals. Created under the direction of Product Development Department team lead Sumio Kawai, the system is described in Japanese patent JP4282226, which is mirrored by US patent 7,006,138. (A Japanese-language PDF file on the JIII website contains several interesting images showing the system in use, with dust clearly visible falling away from the sensor plane.)
Olympus will officially accept the award in a ceremony to be held at the Hotel Okura Tokyo on July 30, 2010.