Edited by Andrew Karp

At this month’s International Vision Expo East, attendees will be able to see the latest ophthalmic lenses and sunglass lenses. L&T’s eagle-eyed reporters have already scouted the market and bring you this special preview of what’s new and noteworthy in lenses.

In the ever-expanding progressive lens arena, Carl Zeiss Vision is debuting Zeiss Individual a progressive lens that is precisely personalized for the individual wearer. Zeiss Individual automatically expands or contracts the entire design for the size and shape of the patient’s chosen frame, balancing all viewing areas and ensuring the widest fields of vision. In addition, the patient’s monocular PD, vertex distance, pantoscopic angle and frame wrap angle are incorporated into the design calculation, resulting in maximum visual acuity for any face, according to Zeiss. Optimized optics for every prescription. Zeiss Individual creates and optimizes the design in “real time” based on the patient’s exact combination of sphere, cylinder, axis and add power, eliminating visual compromises.

Shamir Element, Shamir Insight’s elementary freeform, gives ECPs an opportunity to provide their patients with a personalized back-surfaced lens at an affordable price. The building blocks of the Shamir Element design are based on two essential technologies, EyePoint Technology and Direct Lens Technology, which together create a back-surface Freeform lens personalized to each patient’s unique measurements. Shamir Element shares several features with Shamir top-of-the-line Autograph lenses, including EyePoint Technology, Direct Lens Technology, back-surface design, Freeform manufacturing and wider fields of vision.

Indo International is showcasing its Free-form Solutions program, featuring progressive lens designs, a curve calculation program and professional assistance. Indo offers three options: Global Designs, which are multipurpose progressive lens designs and include Global 22, Global 19 and Global 16; Action Designs, a family of specialized progressive lens designs consisting of Office Design, Road Design and Outdoors Design; FreeDesign, a progressive lens design developed based exclusively on the characteristics and parameters provided by the client.

Essilor, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Varilux progressive lenses this year, will host the Varilux Experience booth, an experience in three dimensions. Open your senses to an interactive exhibition that demonstrates the history and future of Varilux lenses. Experience the progression of better vision. Essilor will also announce several product line extensions and new products during Expo.

Polarized lenses have never been hotter and several companies are launching new polarized lines this season. Essilor’s new Xperio polarized lenses feature industry-leading designs, materials and coatings to deliver superior visual performance and optimal comfort. In addition to UV protection, Xperio’s polarized lens technology virtually eliminates bothersome glare, allowing the wearer to experience the outdoor world more safely and more beautifully. Xperio polarized lenses come in all prescriptions and are available in a variety of colors.

Younger Optics is releasing NuPolar Trilogy, made of the ultra strong, thin and optically superior Trivex material. NuPolar was recently launched in 1.67 high-index (MR-10) and is also available in hard resin and polycarbonate.

See how polarized sunwear can be both functional and fashionable at an exclusive fashion show hosted by Specialty Lens for its iRx Polaroid brand. During the show, different characters walk down the catwalk, each with his or her own prescription and lifestyle needs. Specialty Lens will show how to cater to the individual lifestyles, activities and needs of patients. Showtimes are as follows: Friday, March 27, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 28, 10-11 a.m.; Saturday, March 28, 1-2 p.m. For more information or to sign up to attend, please contact Carl Reese at Specialty Lens Corporation at (800) 366-1382.

On the photochromic lens front, Signet Armorlite will debut a new lens material for the InstaShades family of photochromic lenses. Participating in the large standard index photochromic lens market, the new 1.50 index lens will be an excellent choice for drill-mount and grooved frames. The lens will feature low density and high Abbe value, with excellent darkening and fading performance.

Shamir is expanding its single-vision product line with the addition of Polyplus Transitions Gray/Brown. The lens reduces glare and improves contrast for enhanced visual quality. PolyPlus material is lightweight, providing UV protection and the highest impact resistance. Approved coatings include Crizal, Hoya, iCoat and Zeiss.

Vision-Ease Lens is introducing the LifeRx 7x28 trifocal, which is available for shipment at the end of March. Like the LifeRx bifocal, the LifeRx 7x28 trifocal is designed for maximum durability. It is manufactured with 100 percent renewable energy to benefit both the wearer and the environment. The LifeRx 7x28 trifocal offers high-quality photochromic performance with rapid darkening, industry-leading fade-back speed and better indoor clarity.

Augen Optics premium high-definition, single-vision lenses are now available as NXT Sunlenses and NXT Varia Photochromic and Photochromic Polarized Sunlenses (activated by Transitions). NXT Sunlenses, offered through PPG, protect and improve vision with patented Trivex polymer that is lighter and stronger than polycarbonate, free of stress with superior optics and compatible with any type of frame. Augen NXT Sunlenses are available in a range of tint colors and in polarized, photochromic, polarized photochromic and mirror applications.

Stop by the Transitions Optical booth to learn about new programs and tools that ECPs can leverage to grow their business. Plus, find out about the new ways Transitions is reaching out to consumers about healthy sight, including new television commercials and designation as the Official Eyewear of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.

Seiko Optical Products will debut a new single-vision DiamondClear polycarbonate with Transitions lenses that includes factory applied Surpass AR. The company is also launching a 1.74 single-vision lens, which is factory AR-coated with SuperClean super hydro AR coating. The new lens is made with a new 1.74 index resin that’s exclusive to Seiko.

Pixel Optics is releasing a Transitions VI Gray and Brown option for its Composite 67 atLast! “Enhanced Multifocal” design, launched in November 2008. It combines a power gradient with an embedded power segment to provide four zones of clear vision—near, intermediate (18-inches to 29-inches away), far-intermediate (29-inches to five feet away) and distance. The atLast! lens provides continuous, wide vision from close-up to five feet away, with a soft power jump when transitioning from distance to far-intermediate. The soft power jump is 70 percent less than that of a bifocal of equivalent add power, according to Pixel Optics.