Shamir Andrew Karp
Group Editor, lenses and technology

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VSP Enters Lens Arena With Launch of Two PALs

Reveal Logo VSP Vision Care is moving into the ophthalmic lens business with the release of two private label progressive addition lenses, VSP Reveal and VSP Reveal Freeform. A statement released by VSP described the lenses as “a new link in VSP’s supply chain excellence initiative, supporting VSP’s overall goal of optimizing cost, quality, and delivery.” Both lenses feature optics by Zeiss.

VSP Reveal and VSP Reveal Freeform are being offered initially to VSP doctors in California, with only VSP members being eligible for a Reveal prescription. VSP said it plans to extend the Reveal lens to the rest of the VSP doctor network as soon as early 2009.

California VSP doctors can order Reveal lenses through three labs: VSP Labs Sacramento, Specto Optical and Perfect Optics.

VSP’s entry into the lens arena follows its push into the optical laboratory sector which was initiated in fall, 2007 with VSP’s investment in Perfect Optics in Vista, Calif. and its acquisition of Legends 4.0, located near Dallas. In June, VSP, in partnership with Zeiss, acquired Tri-City Optical in Clearwater, Fla. Earlier this month, VSP acquired Ultra Lens in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The company also owns and operates VSP Labs Sacramento and VSP Labs Columbus (Ohio). VSP chairman Rob Lynch has stated that VSP will acquire additional labs.

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Corning Adds High Performance Coating to SunSensors Line

Marco Girl
Corning’s new SunSensors HPC coating is available on
Polycore’s polycarbonate semi-finished single-vision
and progressive lens designs in both gray and brown.

Corning Ophthalmic is expanding and upgrading its SunSensors line of plastic photochromic lenses with the addition of SunSensors HPC, a new high performance photochromic coating. The coating, which Corning developed in conjunction with Tokuyama, can be used on a broad range of materials currently used in the market, such as polycarbonate, 1.60 index and 1.67 index plastic lenses.

According to Corning, the technology offers high clarity and blocks 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB radiation. It achieves one of the highest levels of performance on the market for darkening and fading speed, changing from a gray dark state transmission of 11 percent to 65 percent transmission after only five minutes of fading time.

“Corning’s lens manufacturing partners desire a SunSensors photochromic product that can be applied to different materials and lens types,” says John Massey, product line manager, plastic photochromics, Corning Ophthalmic. “With the development of this solution, we meet their needs and provide them with the quality and service they expect from Corning.”

Polycore is the first lens manufacturer to offer SunSensors HPC lenses. Beginning in July, the company will introduce the coating on its polycarbonate semi-finished single-vision and progressive lens designs.

“After months of collaboration with Corning to develop a high-performance SunSensors photochromic, polycarbonate lens, Polycore Optical is proud to be the pioneer in marketing this premium photochromic lens,” said Hashim Osman, sales and marketing director, Polycore Optical.

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Marco Polarized Launches New TV Commercial

Marco Girl
A scene from Marco’s new TV spot

Polarized eyewear manufacturer Marco has launched a new TV commercial in support of distributors for its newly launched line of high fashion, fully Rx-able, polarized sunglasses. The 21-piece collection is being offered to select U.S. optical laboratories, including eMagine Optical of Tulsa, Okla., Hirsch Optical of Farmingdale, N.Y., Katz & Klein of Sacramento, Calif., Optical Wholesale of Greensboro, N.C., Sutherlin Optical of Kansas City, Mo. and Cherry Optical of Green Bay, Wisc.

“This commercial is just one of many ways in which we are endeavoring to support our labs,” said Cornelius Daly, marketing manager for Marco, which is a brand of Merchamp USA. “The ad will run on a regional basis concentrating on areas where the distributors have optical stores carrying the Marco collection.”

Targeting male and female viewers, the commercial features a female voice, replete with appropriate Italian accent describing the product benefits while the various frame styles appear on screen. The spot concludes with the sign off “I love my Marcos.” The company intends to use television to underscore its other consumer marketing efforts, such as its Internet keyword program, which is designed to drive foot traffic into the optical stores.

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Santinelli Movie Makes An Impact

Impact Still
Santinelli International
has produced a three-minute “Impact Movie” that delivers a short, educational message about the company and its wide product range.

“If you see only one movie this summer, make it one that will impact your bottom line. See the Santinelli International Impact Movie,” said Gerard Santinelli, president and CEO.

The movie is now available on the company’s Web site, www.santinelli.com/flash/media/index.html. Alternatively, you can request an email link to it by calling (800) 644.3343 (ext. 307) or by writing to: impactmovie@santinelli.com.

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AOA and Transitions Deliver New Hispanic-Focused Resources and Education for ODs

Responding to the growth of the Hispanic population and the importance of supporting optometrists in meeting the needs of their Hispanic patients, the American Optometric Association (AOA) and Transitions Optical are joining forces to deliver new communications tools and resources that focus on the unique needs of this segment population.

The AOA launched its “Hispanic Vision Initiative” during a press event at the annual Optometry’s Meeting and announced plans for professional and public education, supported by Transitions. Specifically, education is planned for optometrists, geared toward helping them better understand and accommodate specific cultural differences and risk factors pertaining to Hispanic consumers. As part of its “Hispanic Vision Initiative,” the AOA is developing a new Spanish section on its Web site, www.aoa.org. Translations in three key public information areas are being supported by a grant through the Transitions Partners in Education program, with additional translations to come. This will complement the range of Spanish-language patient education tools already available through the AOA and Transitions.

“Today, more than 3,500 AOA member practices are located in areas with significant numbers of Hispanic residents,” stated Kevin Alexander, OD, president of the AOA. “As this number increases, it is more important than ever for eyecare professionals to better understand this demographic and to overcome existing language and cultural barriers that can hinder service. Transitions shares the AOA’s commitment to address the public health needs of this group, and is already taking a lead in arming eyecare professionals with education and tools to reach out to Hispanic patients.”

“Understanding the unique eye health and communication needs of the Hispanic population is critical,” said Martha Rivera, Hispanic market segment manager, Transitions. “For example, Hispanic patients are at greater risk for many eye and systemic diseases, which have implications for eye health—but they are unaware of how to protect themselves. We are honored to support the AOA in its efforts, and hope to further raise awareness of the risk factors and encourage Hispanic patients to discuss the need for regular eye exams and proper vision wear with their optometrists.”

To support the initiative on an ongoing basis and pursue development of future resources, the AOA has assembled a project team dedicated to helping optometrists better serve the growing Hispanic market. To guide the initiative, the AOA also has announced plans to release a patient survey, to be administered by optometrists, that will help provide insights into the needs relative to serving Hispanic patients.

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Freeform Certification ProgramDispensing Tips

#1The only lenses recommended for children’s sunglasses are polycarbonate and Trivex lenses. In addition to a natural UVA and UVB inhibitor, they offer the most impact-resistant lenses, come in both polarized and photochromic, and can be tinted to the desired density and color.
   For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com

#2When dispensing to senior patients, consider using a blue blocker sunglass lens. Blue light exposure has been linked higher levels of macular degeneration in men.
   For more information, and to take this CE course online, visit www.2020mag.com

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New ProductsNew Products

Clip&Read Manufacturer: Eschenbach
Description: Small reading glasses that attach to electronic devices for easy access
Target Customer: Presbyopic patients that have difficulty reading their cell phone or digital camera screen or have a problem finding their reading glasses when they need them.
Features: Clip&Read is a miniature pair of reading glasses that can attach to any portable device (cell phone, digital camera, laptop) using either a lanyard or velcro fastenings, so they are available when and where they are needed. Available in two powers (1.5D and 2.5D) and two colors (gray and red), with short flexible temples that sit in place on the temple of the patient without any pressure points. The glasses weigh only 3.3 grams and come with a case. A rotating 12-piece display is also available.
(800) 487-5389

Free-Form Solutions


Description: Digitally surfaced progressive lenses in 70/80 diameter
Target Customer
: Presbyopic patients who wear big frames
Indo’s Free-form Solutions progressive lenses are offered in Global Designs and Action Designs. Global Designs are multi-purpose progressives that are available in three different fitting heights: 22mm (Global 22), 19mm (Global 19) and 16mm (Global 16). The Action Designs consists of the Office Design (for indoor working environments), Road Design (for driving), and Outdoors Design (for outdoor activities).

All Free-form Solutions designs can be surfaced in standard plastic, 1.523, 1.6, 1.67, polycarbonate and Trivex, Indo reports. FreeForm Solutions is compatible with the main hardware platforms..
Availability: Select wholesale labs
(630) 595-1005

Varilux Sport Lenses

Varilux Sport LensesEssilor of America is introducing Varilux Sport lenses, progressive lenses designed specifically for use during sports to provide natural and precise vision. The lenses offer an extra large far distance field, instant immediate vision and a stabilized near vision area. Available in six different shades, from yellow to dark brown, patients can choose the best lens for their desired sport. The polycarbonate material used giving wearers a light lens with impact resistance and protection from UV light. The lenses also filter blue light, the visible radiation that creates a veiling glare, and focuses in front of the retina to create a blurred image. They also feature Crizal Sun technology, which prevents backside reflections while preserving the original color of the lens, as well as resists scratching and cleans easily.

The six different lenses are named after different types of wind. The Breva is a yellow polarized category 2 lens that offers 30 percent light transmission, while the Squamish is an orange fixed tint category 2 lens offering 37 percent light transmission. Santa Ana is an orange brown fixed tint category 2 lens that offers 24 percent light transmission, the Skiron is a brown polarized category 3 lens that offers 12 percent light transmission and the Lombard is a brown fixed tint category 3 lens that also offers 12 percent light transmission. Finally, the Williwaw is a dark brown fixed tint category 4 lens that offers five percent light transmission for extreme environments. Lenses are available in ranges -8.00 to +6.00D, cylinder 4, add 0.75 to 3.50 and diameters mini 60/65, maxi 70/75, depending on version.

Manufacturer: Essilor of America
Description: Tinted sport progressives
Target Customer: Active customers who need progressives
Features: Progressive lenses designed specifically for use during sports to provide natural and precise vision. Available in six different shades. Polycarbonate material features lightweight lenses, impact resistance and protection from UV light. Uses Crizal Sun technology.

Vigor Optical 2008 Tool & Supply Catalog

Vigor Optical 2008 Tool & Supply Catalog

Manufacturer: Vigor Optical
Target Customer: Dispensers and lab technicians
Features: New items of interest would be the new ergo handle adjusting pliers, the expanded bulk screw offering for high volume users, the Vigor pupilometer, large lab size job trays, and an economy lens clock.
(800) 847-4188

Aqua-Sonic Lab Model Ultrasonic (#4050)

Aqua-Sonic Lab Model Ultrasonic Manufacturer: Western Optical Supply (WOS)
Description: Ultrasonic cleaning machine designed for high-volume labs
Target Customer: Customers who need customized lenses to fill a high-plus or high-minus prescription.
Features: The Aqua-Sonic Lab Model Ultrasonic by Western Optical Supply was designed for extended periods of operation in high volume environments like busy offices and laboratories. Featuring five preprogrammed timed cycles—90, 180, 280, 380 and 480 seconds—and a large 40 ounce capacity, the ultrasonic machine uses an ultrasonic wave frequency of 42,000Hz at 60 watts power. The machine comes with a free quart of Biodegradable Ultrasonic Cleaning Solution.
Size: 7 inches high by 6-1/4 inches wide by 9 inches deep
Price: $140
(800) 423-3294

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