Mentorship is also important to Harris. He has concerns that inquisitive natures of children, especially black kids, can be misconstrued.
“No, it’s not ADD. They are not being annoying. Maybe we ought to look a little closer, maybe this is an engineer,â€ he says of children who are often deemed “hyperâ€ or “difficult.â€
On creating more black engineers and inventors, Harris doesn’t mince words. “I think we need more realization that our black youth has more ability than just to entertain or chase a ball down a field,â€ he says.
Mentorship by example and some militaristic discipline is characteristic of Harris. One of his mentees is Rick Simpson, CEO and president of Rzad International, a company that makes an automatic extinguisher that will put out a candle as per a set time.
[Simpson] now has a patent and a full-blown product. I was able to guide him to that point. I told him there are no shortcuts. If you are here to take one, don’t waste my time.â€Â Harris says that each learned from the other and that Simpson in turn can help someone else.
Harris’s company just launched the i-RMR (pronounced “eye armorâ€) enhanced ballistic protective eyewear targeted to the military and law enforcement. It features state-of-the-art photochromic technology that enables eye protection systems to automatically adjust to any lighting condition. In addition, i-RMR offers laser eye protection and uses polarized lens technology compatible with LCD screens.
Currently in development are products designed to combat concussions and advanced fabrics.
“We innovate where I can see how to improve it, and then it’s tried and tested.â€
If a full-body Iron Man outfit made for combat becomes available, it just may come from Kerry Harris.