Innovation Leads the Way

By Andrew Karp
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple

Innovative designs in the progressive addition lens category bring more choices for patients wanting the best, most natural vision possible. It’s up to the optical laboratory to bring this new technology to the eye care professional in such a way that they can understand the advantages of the new products. To be perceived as a leader and not a follower, your lab must stay informed and offer the most innovative products available. Check out what the leading manufacturers have to offer in the way of progressive lens innovations.

Progressive Addition Lenses


Hoya Vision Care’s Hoyalux iD LifeStyle incorporates Hoya’s patented Integrated Double Surface Technology, which separates the functionality and performance of the front and back surfaces. Hoyalux iD LifeStyle makes this technology available to more patients with a standardized vertical power progression on the front surface. This feature enables a natural transition between near and distance viewing. A customized horizontal power progression on the back surface, created by Hoya Free-Form Technology, widens visual zones at all distances. Balanced View Control technology integrates the front and back surfaces to eliminate the uncomfortable perception of skew distortion and swimming sensations common in other progressive designs. Hoyalux iD LifeStyle cd for smaller fashionable frames is also available. ESSILOR

Essilor is expanding its Varilux Physio and Varilux Physio 360 line with the addition of 1.50 polarized gray and brown. The lenses are designed with Essilor’s patented W.A.V.E. Technology, which removes higher order aberrations by adapting wavefront laser surgery to progressive lenses.

Essilor is also releasing Trivex version of Definity and Definity Short. The lenses combine the benefits of Trivex with the Definity design, which features patented “Dual Add” technology that splits the add power across both surfaces of the lens, leading to less peripheral distortion and a wider intermediate zone for the wearer. Definity’s proprietary “Ground View Advantage” provides an additional fourth viewing zone in the periphery and lower portion of the lens for a more natural field of vision. Also, Essilor is releasing a digitally-surfaced version of its popular Varilux Comfort lens. The digital makeover reduces distortion, creates wider fields of vision and provides sharper, clearer vision, according to Essilor.


Indo is introducing Free-form Solutions, a program that includes a wide range of progressive lens designs, a curve calculation program and technical support. The program consists of two types of PALs: multipurpose “Global Designs” and “Action Designs,” which are specialized designs developed to fulfill specific customer needs.

Global Designs are available in the following choices: Global 22, an extremely soft design with a 22m fitting height and 17mm corridor length; Global 19, a versatile design with optimized fields of vision, minimum fitting height of 19mm and 15mm corridor length; Global 16, which is optimized for small frames with a minimum fitting height of 16mm and achieves 85 percent progressive addition at 11mm. These include Office Design, which is conceived for indoor working environments and created based on the focus distance the user usually works at; Road Design, developed for far and intermediate distances; vision quality is improved in certain tasks such as backwards driving or using the rear-view mirror; Outdoors Design, developed to improve performance when practicing outdoor activities, and FreeDesign, which consists of a PAL design developed based exclusively on the characteristics and parameters that the client provides Indo (this design will be only marketed by the lab involved in its development).


Signet Armorlite is introducing the short-corridor Kodak Precise Short. With a 13mm minimum fitting height, Kodak Precise Short delivers precise visual performance in small frames by using Direct Digital Surfacing. This technology ensures the delivery of prescription accuracy from the designer’s specs directly into the mold, according to Signet. Kodak Precise Short continues the use of Vision First Design, the technology that created the award-winning Kodak Precise Lens. The combination of these two technologies helps patients achieve a visual experience comparable to a single-vision lens, Signet reports.


Shamir Insight is releasing a short-corridor version of its Autograph lens. It offers a 13mm fitting height plus a wide far vision zone and soft design. Other features include a fully customized “eye point prescription,” almost no compromise in optical quality for extreme base and sphere powers (all sphere powers are designed as close to the most optimal plano design as possible) and an extremely flat Freeform design.

Shamir is also introducing an Autograph design for the office/occupational category. Based on the company’s Office SF PAL, it features near, intermediate and distance zones (up to 15 ft). The new design will be available through Shamir’s Freeform manufacturing process.


SOLA Compact Ultra HD, the newest short-corridor PAL from Carl Zeiss Vision, is available in 1.67 and Transitions Gray. It features a 13mm minimum fitting height, allowing PAL wearers to select from a wider variety of smaller, fashionable frames. The fitting height is made possible by an advanced corridor design that delivers “unsurpassed reading area at all fitting heights… excellent binocularity, low skew distortion and peak astigmatism that is lower than many leading short-corridor progressive lenses,” according to Zeiss. The lens offers the benefits of semi-finished Compact Ultra, but uses direct surfacing and a sophisticated design approach to customize the lens surface for all aspects of the individual patient’s prescription. The design provides the largest possible areas of clear vision with the lowest levels of unwanted astigmatism.


KBco is releasing the EOS Wrap PAL, which is designed for oversized fashion and performance wrap frame prescriptions and is a part of KBco’s Wrap Solutions family that also includes a single-vision wrap. The EOS Wrap is an eight-base lens that can accommodate prescriptions ranging from -4.50D to +2.50D and is available in all three polarized colors: KBco Grey-C, KBco True Grey, and KBco Brown-C. The polarized lens blank is oversized—83mm with 3mm of decentration—in order to cut out for the huge wrap frames that are so popular.


Carl Zeiss Vision has extended the range of its Teflon Clear Coat Lenses stock single-vision (FSV) lines. The lenses are now available in a sphere range of +4.00 to -6.00D, to a -2.00 cylinder in both polycarbonate and CR-39 monomer from PPG. The extended FSV line features latest-generation Teflon Clear Coat Lenses performance, including very low visible reflectance for maximum clarity, a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic top coat and scratch resistance equivalent to a premium hard coat.

Optima is showcasing its new AR treatment, Color Free. By eliminating the residual bluish or greenish cast found in other AR treatments, Optima maximizes light transmission, significantly increasing visual acuity for the wearer. Improved night vision, reduced eye strain, diminished glare and discomfort from back surface reflections and enhanced appearance are among the benefits. Advanced ultra-hydrophobic and oleophobic properties help keep the lenses clean and easy to care for.

Topit, the latest AR product from iCoat, utilizes a newly formulated version of the company’s Fusion XTO AR in combination with an ultra slick super oleophobic topcoat. The result is the smoothest, silkiest, easy-to-clean AR product iCoat has ever produced. Topit is so slippery it can only be applied to edged lenses, is compatible with all optical hard coats, and can be applied to any lens style or material, including all glass lenses.

In Other Lens News…

Gator Lens is introducing 1.5mm thermoformed polarized polycarbonate plano lenses in six and eight base. All lenses are produces using patented Mitsubishi films exclusively. Available are gray, brown, G-15 and copper-driver as well as gray silver or blue flash mirrored lenses. Also featured is the fill range of Gator prescription stock lenses: hard resin, 1.56, polycarbonate, PhotoGator polycarbonate photochromic, 1.61 and 1.67 index.

DAC International is adding the Easy Top bifocal to the RxD Lathe’s specialty lens menu. Created and patented by Michael Walach, Easy Top is a replacement for flat tops, eliminating image jump.

Easy Top joins round seg bifocal, slab-off, slab-on, lenticular, and high-minus wrap lens designs all turned on the back side of spherical blanks in any index. VCA- and OMA-compatible software allows direct processing of freeform PAL designs directly to the RxD Lathe which produces surfaces ready for soft lap polishing on DAC’s new soft lap polisher.

Carl Zeiss Vision Sunlens, a division of Carl Zeiss Vision Group, is launching a new program to guarantee the authenticity and uniqueness of its lenses. Every product is now accompanied by a guarantee certificate and by the semi-visible "Z" engraved on the lens, proving its copyright so that users' can be sure of protecting their eyesight.


Labtalk June 2020