3D-Printed Lenses Now for AR Smart Glasses

Luxexcel, manufacturer of the first 3D-printed prescription lenses platform, has teamed up with augmented reality leader Vuzix Corp. to provide 3D-printed prescription lens inserts for the Vuzix Blade augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, being launched at CES in Las Vegas this week. The Luxexcel VisionPlatform enables 3D printing of ophthalmic lenses for specialty applications including Rx lenses with extreme requirements, such as prism segs, quadrofocals, channel prisms, and now, AR smart glasses.

------ AR/VR Positioned for Record Sales Growth in 2018 (see below) ------

The Blade (pictured here), from Vuzix, provides a wearable smart display with a see-through viewing experience utilizing Vuzix's proprietary waveguide optics. It's like having your computer or smart phone screen information with you wherever you go—wearers can see overlaid information, such as patient data, mapping directions, restaurant menus, weather information, alerts and more without picking up a second screen.

See a video of The Blade in action here.

Guido Groet, Luxexcel’s chief commercial officer, says: “Luxexcel will provide—through its partner labs, opticians, and the Vuzix website—a perfect solution with ophthalmic-quality 3D-printed lenses. The patient’s prescription will be converted to the requirements of the Blade in the Luxexcel lens design system, and the customer will be presented with the optimal prescription in a fully integrated product. The combination of the unique technologies of both companies offer the first truly useable augmented reality product to all users.”

Hans Streng, CEO of Luxexcel, says: “60% of the U.S. population needs eye correction. Without custom prescription inserts, those people will not be able to fully enjoy the most advanced new augmented reality products. Luxexcel is thrilled to partner with Vuzix as the early adopter of 3D printed ophthalmic lens inserts.

“3D-printed lenses are the next revolution in eye correction since it offers full freedom of lens-design and freedom to embed 'smart' functions into an ophthalmic lens," he continues. "This entry into the AR/VR segment is a glimpse into the potential the Luxexcel 3D printing technology brings to smart eyewear and other products.”

As previously reported by EB, Luxexcel has already brought its lens-printing platform to two optical labs in the U.S.: Quest Vision Care Specialty Care lab in Largo, FL, and IFB Solutions lab in Winston-Salem, N.C. To read about them, click here, and here.
Why should ECPs care about advancements in AR or VR (virtual reality) devices? Because it’s very possible that your patients are going to care about them very soon. And they may be turning to you to ask about Rx capabilities.

AR and VR technologies are positioned for record growth in 2018, according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). And the exhibitor update on CES 2018— the global stage for innovation—shows a record-setting footprint for both AR and VR at the show, Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas.

The forthcoming U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report from CTA projects AR/VR headsets and eyewear will sell 4.9 million units in the U.S. in 2018 (a more than 25% increase from 2017) and see U.S. revenues of $1.2 billion (almost 10% year-over-year growth). CTA also projects sales of consumer-focused AR eyewear will accelerate considerably within the next five years.