trying to read a restaurant menu because he forgot to bring his
reading glasses, inventor Pat Herman decided to end his frustration
once and for all. He took a pair of his drugstore reading glasses,
cut off the lenses and connected them with a spring wire. He then
had the first pair of glasses small enough to carry in his wallet.
After that, every where he pulled them out, someone inevitably wanted
to borrow the tiny glasses.
Pat Herman studied
engineering in his native Chile and arrived in the US with his bride
in the sixties. In Chile, he worked for General Tire and came to
Akron, Ohio expecting to stay for only one year. He started to work
for General Tire in Akron and started to take math classes. Along
came the first child, and then two more boys. Herman completed his
Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mathematics
at the U of Akron as well as his thesis and course work in System
Engineering for his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University in
Working as a
Mathematician at General Tire, he found a brand new computer that
somebody had ordered, but nobody knew how to make work (don't forget,
these were the early 60s!). He got it working, and soon he fell
in love with this new field of computers. He later joined General
Motors at Hudson, Ohio, working as a Senior System Engineer. In
1969 he got tired of the frigid winters and hot and muggy summers
and moved to sunny San Jose, California to work for IBM, until 1987
when he took early retirement. After his retirement, Herman worked
as a computer consultant for IBM and other companies until he got
involved with the tiny glasses. Herman speaks Spanish and although
French used to be his second language, it is now a little rusty.
Herman, sails in the Monterey bay and swims in the frigid waters
of San Francisco as a participant in the Alcatraz SharkFest, and
the Golden Gate Bridge Swim. In 2003 he swam the one-and-one-half-miles
from Alcatraz in 48 minutes.In 2007 he and 30 other swimmers missed
the entrance to the Aquatic Park and had to be picked up by boat
while drifting toward the Golden Gate Bridge. He is also an accomplished
East Coast Swing dancer.
When asked how
it feels to be an inventor, Herman replies, "You look at a
pair of i4uLenses, and they appear very simple, but this is far
from the truth! It took six years, hundreds of thousand of dollars
and a "few detours" to get to the current design. Many
of the ideas and design breakthroughs have come to him while sleeping.
Herman keeps a notebook at his night table to write down new ideas.
"It's amazing and gratifying to dream of something, design
it on the computer, and then finally hold the completed product
in your hands." Herman says.
The first lenses
had an external spring wire bridge connecting the two individual
lenses. This design allowed us to mold the lenses individually.
At a later time two lenses were connected with the wire bridge.
This design also would allow us to have a pair of lenses in which
each lens has a different power (diopter). A US patent (5,748,280)
was granted in 1998.
The second design
had a wire bridge connecting the two lenses. This design worked
well, but it was expensive because the wire bridge had to be manually
inserted in the mold. A US patent (6,371,614) was granted in 2002.
The third design
had the bridge molded with the same plastic material as the two
individual lenses. This design looked pretty good and we started
manufacturing and distribution. Unfortunately, after a couple of
months, we found out that in about 20% of the lenses, for no reason
at all, the bridge broke. We recalled the lenses and spent four
months trying to correct the problem. We finally narrowed the problem
to the material and process we were using to manufacture the lenses.
The fourth and
current design solved the broken bridge problem. The new design
includes a "lip" around the lenses to protect them. You
can put the i4uLenses in a flat surface and neither side of the
lenses will be in contact with the surface. The polymer and the
process we are using create extremely strong lenses: you can hit
them with a sledgehammer and they will not break! The bridge is
also extremely strong. We regularly test the bridge (open and close
the two lenses) in a special machine for over 5,000 cycles without
failure. If the i4uLenses bridge ever did break under normal use,
we will replace them. A third US patent has been granted for these
The lenses come
with a protective pouch and we are now manufacturing a compact hard
plastic case. This case is used to ship our new "High Power
Magnifiers." The HPM have a 5.8 diopter and are designed for
very close work. All i4uLenses are adjustable for a comfortable
fit on your nose. Please read the instructions on the back of the
package card or in this web site.
are designed to be carried in your wallet like a credit card, but
you also may want to keep one in:
· * Your
car glove compartment to read a map (especially at night)
· * Your book as a bookmark
· * Your airplane, motorcycle or boat for reading charts
· * Your golf bag to keep track of your score
· * Your Fly Fishing vest
· * Your briefcase
· * Your PDA or cell phone
The 1.5, 2.0,
2.5 and 3.0 power i4uLenses come in a protective pouch. The High
Power Magnifiers come in a compact hard plastic case. Our lenses
are 100% USA made.
at the sections showing why people need reading glasses and the
history of eyeglasses. Contact or write us with any questions you