John van Geen
was a researcher at the Stanford Research Institute
who was known for his advances in the acoustically coupled modem
. His enhancments allowed the designed receiver to detect data (in the form of bits) and distinguish it from background noise more reliably than any previous models.
His advancements also led to the release of the first public modem. It appealed to the public because it mimicked the characteristics of a standard telephone handset at that time.