John C.C. Fan
John C.C. Fan Dr. Fan is founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Kopin Corporation, a NASDAQ public company since 1992. Kopin, headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, is a leading provider of components and technologies for mobile and wearable devices. Kopin has over 300 patents and patents pending in this emerging growth area. Fan began his career at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, where he researched semiconductor materials and devices. He was leading the Electronic Materials Group at Lincoln Laboratory when he left MIT in 1985 found Kopin Corporation. Fan grew up in Hong Kong and obtained his Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering with highest honors from Berkeley, California. He went to Harvard University under a Harvard fellowship and obtained his Master and Ph. D. degree in Applied Physics in 1972. Fan has authored over 200 publications, edited three books, and owns over 70 patents. Fan was also the co-founder and Chairman of several integrated circuit and advanced materials companies. Three of them were sold to large public-listed semiconductor corporations. Fan received the Society of Information Displays Special Recognition Award in 1999. Fan was the Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, and also the National Finalist. He was chosen one of the Top 25 Asian American Entrepreneurs by Asia Week in 1999, and one of the top 100 Asian American Entrepreneurs between 1999–2004 by Asia.net. Fan was chosen as one of the USA’s top 15 nanotechnology innovators by NASA’s Nanotech Briefs in 2005. In 2020, Fan has also been elected as a member of the USA National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for his contributions “For Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Electronic Materials and Devices for Displays.” Only a very select group of engineers are admitted to NAE membership, which is one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.
Users and technologists have long had the vision that the handheld smartphone would someday transition to handsfree so we can use our smartphone without disrupting whatever we might be doing. Our current smart phone is quite wonderfully powerful: a noise-cancellation digital phone, a quality camera, a well-interconnected communicator, a powerful computer, and an entertainment/gaming device. The question: how can these valuable features transition from a handheld device to handsfree? The answer: voice interface.
In the telecommunications industry a radical platform change occurs every ten to fifteen years, e.g., from large to small, heavy to light, text to icons enabled via touch. Now, instead of a touch interface, micro-device technology can enable a voice interface—making a truly handsfree device. That hearing, seeing and speaking, the basic senses needed to operate a smart device, are on our heads, implies that the handsfree platform would be eyeglass frames. Afterall, frames sit on our ears, so can provide a vehicle for mini-speakers, and are near our mouth, so a frame-mounted microphone can capture our voice. Today over a billion glasses are sold worldwide per year, for sunglasses or prescriptive purposes. Why not use these frames to operate our smart phones?
Solos technology now provides handsfree access to the smart functions and features that we already use and enjoy every day—a digital telephone, wireless speakers, earphones, and headphones, and a smart watch. Solos has integrated earphones and speakers into regular eyeglass frames that maintain the stylish appearance we’re accustomed to. The frames have the ability to use voice for searches, commands, phone calls on demand, music on demand, monitoring wellness data and activities, and more. Critically, these functions use our patented Whisper™ Technology that can operate in a whisper quiet mode so as not to disturb others, yet be clearly audible to the user. Are you envisioning clunky and heavy equipment on your face? No, not the case. All these features have been designed at a micro-level to fit into today’s normal eyeglass frames. With Solos, one has regular eyeglass, earphone, smart speaker, and smart watch all together in one hands-free platform. Using Solos’ robust blue-tooth connection technology, AirGo can be connected to the Cloud and cellular networks via an Apple-based or an Android-based phone, or a computer.
Solos has designed the line of AirGo frames to meet these demands, enabling one to be handsfree, mobile, and always connected! And, AirGo frames are attractive with a choice of styles, sizes, shapes, and colors available! More varieties will follow. These frames are becoming available at many optical shops that custom fit the AirGo frame of your choice for function, fashion and comfort, as well as add the necessary prescription lenses from various lens makers, including anti-blue lens, transition lens, or polarized filter lens. The frames are designed and manufactured by established eyeglass frame companies so that they are of the same high-quality materials, comfortable fit, and stylish fashion as regular glasses available today.
This magical transformation has evolved through many years of trials and tribulations and the dedicated work of engineers and scientists. We’re confident that the Solos AirGo frame has successfully met the goal of combining handsfree function with stylish appearance. As I’ve stressed for years, for smart-glasses to be widely accepted by consumers, one must follow the basic rule: human needs first, technology second. One can learn more on the rules and potentials for a revolutionary hand-free smart platform in my most recent talk at MIT . The Solos AirGo smart glass, with its integration of style and technology, will amaze you. We urge you to try it.
AirGo smartglasses are composed of three parts that snap together like Legos: an eyeglass front frame, a smart temple on one side, and a battery temple on the other. The eyeglass front frame is designed and manufactured by regular eyeglass designers and manufacturers, and lenses are fitted by regular optical shops or on-line. One can change or update the frames and lens without new smart or battery temples. The smart temple contains the electronics, blue-tooth connection, two digital microphones, and an acoustic speaker. It’s also loaded with proprietary firmware and software. The firmware and software are wirelessly updated regularly, just like your other wireless devices.
As technology advances, the smart temple can be upgraded without a new eyeglass glass front frame. The battery temple has a micro-battery and a speaker that provides 3D audio with a second acoustic speaker in the smart temple. Again, as battery technology improves, the battery temple can be changed separately from the smart temple and front glass frame. This division into three parts enables style flexibility and each part to be updated and changed independently. The battery temple can be recharged while in the frame. Or, the battery temple can be snapped out and replaced with a fully charged battery temple in less than 10 seconds. So with a spare battery temple as an accessory, you’ll never run out of juice! We should stress that our proprietary Lego-like connections have been thoroughly tested for numerous on-off operations. In fact, the AirGo was well designed and thoroughly tested for years of enjoyment.
The electronics and software are designed and developed by our engineers so that not only are the performance and features outstanding, but also the user experience of AirGo is smooth, intuitive as the devices you are accustomed to, and easy to master. Our mission is that Solos be your “Daily Wear”, and we believe that you would agree that AirGo has accomplished our mission.
The Solos AirGo eyeglass frame will evolve as technology evolves. With the frames as a three-part platform, more features will be added with each successive model. Solos will add features step by step, without departing from our eyeglass DNA. Our vision is that in five to ten years, Solos will not only have all the wonderful features of today’s smartphones but will add functions and features that one cannot dream of today.