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#EB2020VISION LENS TECH

Today’s coolest new tech in spectacle lenses? To get the scoop, EB checks in with 2 lens engineers in Israel + delivers 13 of the top cutting-edge products for 2020.

To learn more about what goes into a new, ultra-high-tech lens design, we asked two engineers from the Shamir team in Israel—Amnon Kanter, product manager of lens designs, and Alex Shur, vision R&D director—to answer a few questions.

TIME FRAME?

“It’s about two to three years for major designs and about one year for more minor ones.” —A.S.

REQUIREMENTS?

“To understand the vision, we need as much information as possible on the new solution, including the concept and detailed requirements (good overall design, matching modern lifestyle, better than previous design, etc.). We use our optical team design experience to evaluate what can and can’t be done within the limits of design requirements, and take into account all relevant clinical trials data to evaluate the clinical rationale of the new design.” —A.S.

PROCESS?

“There are four stages. 1. Finding out the visual needs for different patient groups. 2. Designing a prototype for each patient group. 3. Conducting a clinical trial to validate each design prototype. 4. Making the whole design while addressing the visual needs of various patient groups.” —A.K.

TECHNOLOGY?

“In our last Autograph Intelligence design, we utilized modern AI techniques and methods for the lens design and lens design validation. We also used big data techniques to characterize Rx distribution based on data of millions of manufactured lenses as well as to characterize different designs for differential visual ages.” —A.K.

THE HOT LIST: 2020 TOP TECH

Here, EB checks in with numerous lens and lens treatments makers, who share a mix of dynamic designs, treatments, materials, and applications. Here’s a look, by category, at what’s topping the charts for the new year.

LENS DESIGNS + TECH

Essilor:

Eyezen Start lenses are for all single-vision patients and deliver sharper and more comfortable vision for patients’ day-to-day activities while defending against digital eye strain and offering harmful blue light protection. According to Essilor, Eyezen Start uses a unique, patented design calculation with two reference points that optimize vision and deliver the right power that the patient needs over a wide area of the lens for all object distances and gaze directions.

Hoya:

iD MyStyle 2 is Hoya’s most customizable progressive lens to date, according to the company. It can be fully customized to the individual using the Hoya iDentifier, to produce a unique progressive lens with unmatched visual comfort. Options include Adventure, Detail, Modern, and Stable. The highest level of customization for iD MyStyle 2, iD Dual Side optics and Binocular Harmonization Technology, makes this lens a game changer.

Shamir:

The company’s newest technology, Eye-Point Technology AI, utilizes Head Eye Integrative Movement (HEIM) software. Shamir can now see exactly where in the lens patients actually look, along both the vertical and horizontal meridians, when they specifically perform tasks in the various visual zones. It also allows Shamir to understand how different ages see and define the patient’s Visual Age. This technology enables the lens maker to design a unique lens that takes into account actual viewing angles computed for every distance.

Signet Armorlite:

Color Guard Technology is used to create the hybrid Kodak Total Blue Lens—a special lens material plus 14-layer AR that blocks 100% UV and filters up to 80% HEV harmful blue light between 380 and 440nm wavelengths, says Signet Armorlite. Available in high-index and polycarbonate, Kodak Total Blue Lenses include Silk, an AR enhancement that increases durability and cleanability.

Vision Ease:

Coppertone polarized prescription lenses are specifically designed to filter more solar blue light than standard polarized lenses, according to Vision Ease. Coppertone lenses are available in gray, brown, and green as well as polycarbonate and Phoenix, Hoya’s exclusive brand of Trivex. Designs available include SV iQ, Sync III, Array 2, and Array 2 Wrap with Binocular Harmonization Technology.

VSP:

Unity Via Progressive Lenses use sophisticated software to create an advanced design that’s easy to fit and provides patients with exceptional, customized vision, according to VSP. The portfolio includes designs for frames with high-wrap and for patients who use mobile devices for more than four hours per day.

Zeiss:

The Smart Life portfolio is a full array of lenses for today’s on-the-move and connected user. It consists of an individual single-vision, Digital Lens, and four progressives—optimized using a new design fingerprint, pupil size, and a 3D object model to consider environmental and ergonomic challenges presented by today’s spectacle wearers.

LENS MATERIALS

PPG:

Trivex material is known for being clear, light, thin, and strong. With an Abbe value of 45, Trivex lenses deliver clarity and comfort. They are made from the lightest-weight prescription lens material available. With a refractive index of 1.53, Trivex lenses provide a balance of performance and comfort all with a thin lens for most prescriptions. Plus, Trivex lenses block 100% of UV A and UV B.

LENS TREATMENTS

BluTech:

With Blue Light Plus Triple Protection, BluTech lenses are infused with a proprietary formulation of pigments and dyes for proven impact against digital blue light, which is known to disrupt sleep, induce headaches, and cause digital eye strain. Clinically proven to regulate the body’s natural melatonin production and improve cognition, BluTech lenses provide up to 17 times more protection versus clear blue light blocking lenses.

QSpex:

Using a combination of advanced chemistry, proprietary polymer matrix dye composite, and a unique manufacturing process, eQlipse Photochromic represents an evolutionary performance improvement, according to QSpex. Most impressive, with a fade rate of 0.35 (%T/sec) within the first two minutes, the company says that eQlipse is more than two times faster than the leading competitors at fading back to a clear state from its fully darkened state and is also the clearest photochromic in a non-activated state.

Transitions:

Signature GEN 8 lenses are the newest addition to the Transitions family of products. According to Transitions, the lenses return to clear faster than ever, are fully clear indoors, and are even darker outdoors. Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses, available in four style colors in February, help protect eyes from harmful blue light and UV rays.

SPECIALITY APPLICATIONS

EnChroma:

A patented lens technology for color blindness, EnChroma lenses are engineered with special optical filters to remove wavelengths of light where the red and green cones in the eye of the color blind overlap excessively. This enhances separation between color channels so colors can be seen more vibrantly, clearly, and distinctly. EnChroma’s four lens types address the most common forms of color blindness across a range of lighting conditions and environments, with full prescription compatibility.

Neurolens:

Neurolenses are the only prescription lenses that add a contoured prism to bring the eyes into alignment, according to the company. Contoured prism has been shown in studies to relieve headaches, neck/shoulder pain, and eye strain. The neurolens Measurement Device is a new addition to the optometric practice that can objectively and accurately detect and measure eye alignment in less than three minutes. The device uses breakthrough eye-tracking technology to measure the degree of eye misalignment at distance and near.