Why including high-tech lens options makes good business sense + a guide to new releases

Patients deserve the best that technology offers them.

You already offer this in the exam lane. But are you continuing that commitment to high-tech when it’s time to prescribe lenses?

High-definition, digitally surfaced progressives cut to painstakingly precise and custom powers. Vocational and occupational lenses made for specific viewing tasks. New tech that adds fashion to performance. All created to provide clearer, more comfortable vision for every patient, designed to individual, personal specifications.

It’s been a boon for vision tech. And prescribing the latest lens technology is not only good for your patients, it’s good for your business.

A survey done by research firm Lab42 reveals that consumers are very willing to pay more for the latest in technology and innovation in other industries. Over 83% of respondents would pay more for innovation in electronics, with 15% willing to pay over 40% more. In the automotive industry, 75% of respondents would pay an innovation premium, with 10% willing to go over 40% more.

Should vision tech be much different?

“Advancement in the technology of lens design allows for more tailored solutions for patients. It allows us to fully utilize our knowledge and mastery of optics, and separates us from the discount or online retailers of low-grade lenses,” says Simaan Shini, O.D., of Eye Trends in College Station, TX.

“Patients today are information-hungry, and they like knowing how this technology is going to help. It makes them not only embrace the tech, but speak highly to others of the office that recommended it.”

Is your lens menu keeping up with the latest innovations?

Here, EB presents a roundup of some high-tech lens categories that can build your reputation for cutting-edge innovation and patient care.


THE TECH: Digital surfacing allows for exceptionally precise Rx’s and a design that is customizable to the patient’s measurements (including position of wear of the frame) and visual needs. Painstaking R&D has gone into these designs to provide crisp vision at every angle and distance, and all tout an absence of the negative issues associated with standard PALs (peripheral distortion, swim, nonadapts). A sample:

Varilux X from Essilor: A new set of lens calculations gives wearers clear vision at a number of midrange distances without the need to move their head or eyes to find the sweet spot. Three designs.

Unity Via from VSP Optics: Corridor lengths are automatically calculated, providing a continuous range of progression lengths that follows the natural path of the eye. Three designs.

Zeiss Individual 2: Three designs, each using Individual Fit technology (comfort and performance) and Luminance Design (factors in pupil size in varying light conditions).

Shamir Autograph Intelligence: Designed specifically for the wearer’s “visual age,” offering instant focus as the wearer switches distances.

Kodak Unique: Digitally created designs in six options provide crisp vision at all distances. The latest DRO version optimizes reading zone.

Hoya LifeStyle 3: Integrated Dual Surface Design tech and Binocular Harmonization Technology ensures both eyes receive equal accommodative support, according to the needs of each eye. Three designs.

Seiko Superior: Ultra-personalized with 11 corridor lengths accommodating nearly every size and shape frame, plus 51 options for the near zone.


THE TECH: Optimized PAL viewing zones that provide sharp and comfortable vision where it’s needed most during office/computer or other close-up work. This is a full category, with nearly every lens vendor offering something for patients. Some notable options include:

  • Shamir Computer/Shamir WorkSpace
  • Zeiss Officelens Book/Desk/Room
  • Unity Via OfficePro (VSP Optics)
  • Essilor Computer
  • Seiko PC Wide


of ECPs are planning to increase their purchases of digital/free-form lenses over the next 2 years

of ECPs say having the newest technology in their portfolio is “very important” or “important”

of ECPs view “performance/quality” as the most important aspect of a lens brand

EB’s 2019 Lens Virtual Focus Group Study


THE TECH: Alleviates the symptoms of digital eye strain, in both SV and PAL options. Has a bump of power in the viewing zone most used for handheld devices/laptops, and is often combined with premium AR or blue light filters. Notable offerings include:

  • Essilor’s Eyezen portfolio
  • Shamir Relax
  • Hoya Sync
  • Zeiss Digital
  • Zeiss Precision Pure
  • Unity Relieve (VSP Optics)


THE TECH: Value-added technology that serves specific patient needs or fashion desires. Key examples include:

Zeiss DriveSafe: Everyday lenses designed to allow faster refocusing from road to dashboard and shifting head positions.

Photochromics: Fashion-focused technology has brought us photochromics in on-trend colors and mirror coatings. Other technology has introduced increased fadeback speed. Notable options include:

  • Transitions Style Colors + Mirrors
  • Hoya Sensity + Sensity Shine
  • Zeiss PhotoFusion
  • VSP Optics’ SunSync Elite

Zeiss UV Protect: Offering sunglass-level UV protection in all of Zeiss’ clear lenses, this tech offers UV protection up to 400nm (standard clear lenses protect up to 380nm).