The Beginnings…

Exasperated 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 Cleveland, Ohio.

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 lenses (6,773,106).

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.

The i4uLenses 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 or maps
· * 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.

Please look at the sections showing why people need reading glasses and the history of eyeglasses. Contact or write us with any questions you may have.