Lenses Light Up The Eyewear Landscape

By Judith Lee
Lenses are lighting up the post-recession eyewear landscape with high-performance designs, new and/or improved materials, and more lifestyle features than ever before. Optical labs that embrace the technically superior entries and support retailers in marketing them are likely to reap the rewards this year.

A big occasion for product introduction is Vision Expo East, March 16 to 20. Here’s a sneak peak at how lens manufacturers plan to illuminate the Big Apple and the entire marketplace in 2011.

Carl Zeiss Vision: It’s a Wrap

A full line of customized lens designs have been created specifically for highly wrapped frames. This line includes three wrap-specific multifocal lens designs (ZEISS Individual PAL Wrap, ZEISS GT2 3D Wrap, and ZEISS GT2 3D Short Wrap), as well as the single vision version, ZEISS Individual SV Wrap.

Carl Zeiss Vision said its proprietary Rx and prism compensation widens the area of clear vision in ZEISS Wraps by as much as 50 percent over standard lens designs in wrap frames. ZEISS wrap lenses may be customized for prescription, adjustable corridor and compensation for the way the lenses fit the wearer’s face.

All ZEISS customized wrap lenses are fully compatible with i.Scription, the ZEISS process that compensates the lens design based on the patient’s higher-order wavefront aberrations to deliver superior night vision. ZEISS wrap designs are available in clear, Transitions Gray and Brown, and NuPolar Polarized Gray and Brown, in 1.50 hard resin and 1.59 polycarbonate materials.

Essilor: National Ad Campaign for Crizal

Crizal No-Glare lenses are the focus of a national ad campaign that launches March 7, and this is bound to be the focus of Essilor’s message at Vision Expo East. The multi-million dollar campaign will run through 2011, and will be aired on television, radio, digital media and in print. The message is that Crizal “defeats the five enemies of clear vision” (glare, scratch, smudge, dust and water).

You can also expect Essilor to talk about the new Crizal Easy and not-yet-launched SunShield. Crizal Easy replaces the original Crizal lens (to be discontinued in first-quarter 2011) and offers a super hydrophobic layer that resists smudges, water and oil. Crizal SunShield lenses are Crizal Sun lenses enhanced with Scotchgard Protector to protect and optimize wearers’ vision, particularly in outdoor environments. Regarding the Varilux brand, expect to hear about eyecode lenses, which are individualized to the patient’s unique 3D eye measurements taken with the Visioffice system.

HOYA Lens of America: Free-Form ID MyStyle

HOYALUX iD MyStyle is a personalized progressive lens, combining a technology that maps the specific rotation of each eye, and a computer vision evaluation that analyzes and corrects Skew Deformation. Each free-form lens is created using HOYA’s ‘Intelligent Design by Extensive Analysis’ (iDEA) technology, a process that includes comprehensive consultation that determines all the parameters needed to create the patient’s ideal lens.

The single vision version of this lens eliminates distortions that appear at the edges of the lens, particularly as the magnitude of power increases. Aspheric lenses are designed to neutralize such distortions, with curvatures on the front of the lens changing from center to edge. But up until now, aspheric designs have been based on theoretical optical design, with little consideration for how the eye actually moves. HOYA’s ID Single Vision is the first aspheric design to account for actual physiological functions like eye movement.

Kaenon Polarized: Free-Form Experience

Kaenon Polarized will be promoting lenses that are precision processed using free-form technologies that have been perfected through years of real-world experience. The result is a crystal clear view that can only be possible when utilizing SR-91 polarized lenses and advanced digital surfacing techniques to surface within a tolerance of 1/100th of a diopter and edged within a tolerance of 1/1000th of an inch. Each finished prescription sunglass is scrutinized by independent Quality Control teams performing 24-point inspections to ensure excellent product quality and eliminate unnecessary delays and doctor re-do’s.

Kaenon Polarized offers the company’s branded frame collection of 8-base, wrapped sunglasses, as well as SR-91 SVSF lenses, available as a premium polarized lens option from select laboratories. Kaenon Polarized SR-91 SVSF lenses are available in a wide variety of base curves (1, 2, 4.25, 6.25, 8.25), which can accommodate nearly any frame design, material or mounting.

SEIKO OPTICAL: Performance Sunwear

You can be sure Seiko Optical Products of America, Inc. will be talking about its Seiko Sportswear Transitions SOLFX sun lenses. Seiko is partnering with Transitions to bring to market this latest product in the Transitions SOLFX line of performance sun wear. Specifically optimized to improve color recognition, contrast and depth perception in varying lighting conditions, the lens is designed for a wide variety of outdoor sports related activities, including running, hiking and walking.

Seiko Sportswear Transitions SOLFx lenses change from an initial light green tint while non-activated to a dark green tint in bright sunlight. This proprietary tint filters light evenly throughout its activation range to provide excellent color contrast separation, depth perception and color recognition, even in varying outdoor lighting conditions.

Also available in Seiko Sportswear Transitions SOLFX lenses are Seiko and Perfas branded free-form progressive lenses, as well as Seiko’s new 1.67 Wrap Tech single-vision free-form lens and frame package, and 1.67 standard aspheric single-vision lenses.

Seiko’s single-vision (6 and 8 Base) Wrap Tech Sportswear Transitions SOLFX lenses are available in 1.67 high index plastic. Seiko Internal Free-Form PAL Sportswear Transitions SOLFX lenses are available in a variety of materials, including Trivex, polycarbonate and 1.67 high-index plastic. They can be ordered through Seiko’s free-form laboratory and network of independent optical laboratories.

Signet Armorlite Gets Precise

KODAK Precise and Precise Short progressive lenses are now available in digitally-created full backside progressives with a wide field of view. Digital surfacing allows for greater prescription accuracy by directly adding the design onto the back surface of a semi-finished single vision lens, placing the design closer to the eye. The Kodak Precise PR and Precise Short PB lenses are available in 16 materials including standard resin, polycarbonate, high index and several Transitions Lens choices. Designed by Crossbow, these new lenses were created using Vision First Design, a proprietary technology that directly controls the surface power at virtually every point on the lens, resulting in a smooth power increase across the entire lens, from top to bottom.

At Vision Expo East, Signet Armorlite will share results of a progressive lens study conducted at the University of Arkansas Sensory Science Center, which indicates that the KODAK Lens brand is synonymous with performance, trust and value. When patients were asked which lens they wanted to purchase based on their vision experience, the brand and value, KODAK Lenses were preferred 2 to 1.

Vision Expo East attendees who visit the new Signet Armorlite booth may have their portrait line drawn by a professional artist.

SHAMIR says, “RELAX”

At Vision Expo East, Shamir will announce the newest design in its Freeform Family of lenses – Shamir Relax. While at work, the majority of one’s time may be spent reading paperwork, looking through files or utilizing a computer to complete tasks. In doing so, the eye is continuously forced to accommodate these near and mid-range objects. This routine performance of the eye, like any other muscle in your body, will ultimately result in fatigue. To combat these symptoms, Shamir has developed Relax, a single vision Freeform lens designed specifically to aide in fatigue relief for the 30-45 year old market.

Clinically tested, it is based on a new design that incorporates additional power in the lower part of the lens. This extra ADD Power ultimately eases the strain normally associated with prolonged accommodation, reducing the patient’s lens accommodations will be reduced by 30 percent. Relax will be available to order through Shamir’s network of Autograph partnering laboratories starting April 1.

Transitions Optical: Go Pro

Transitions Optical is focusing on its new tools to help you grow your business, found at www.Transitions.com/PRO. These include free advertising and outreach tools, free continuing education and training resources. You’ll also get a first hand look at Transitions Optical’s efforts to reach consumers directly throughout the year – through its continued sponsorship of the Transitions Championship and designation as the Official Eyewear of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.

X-Cel Optical: More Trivex

X-Cel Optical said it is expanding it Aris Trivex family of products with the introduction of 8x35 Trifocals, Double D 28 Bifocals, and FSV NXT Sun Lenses in fixed tints, photochromic, and polarized options Younger Optics: New Transitions Younger is announcing that the Adage lens will be available in Transitions Brown and Gray (polycarbonate). Adage is an “ultra-short” progressive lens design for smaller aesthetic frames, specially engineered to offer a balanced combination of far, intermediate, and near fields of view. Younger Optics said it will provide labs with the widest material offering for Transitions XTRActive, including hard resin, polycarbonate, Trilogy, and Hi-Index 1.67.

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