L&T editor Andrew Karp previewed the ophthalmic lens products, treatments and processing technologies being spotlighted at this month’s International Vision Expo in New York. Here’s his exclusive report on what’s new and what’s next.


Lens manufacturers will showcase their most advanced progressive addition lens (PAL) designs at Expo. Shamir Insight is upgrading its semi-finished PAL product line with Freeform Optics, a proprietary technology that uses glass molds as opposed to ceramic molds. The resulting lenses offer six times more resolution than a leading competitor, according to Shamir.

Indo is debuting two direct surfaced PALs, EyeMade and LifeMade. EyeMade features “optimal personalization,” which considers the visual strategy of each individual. According to Indo, this consists of a coordinated set of eye and head movements that come into play when performing a visual activity. The EyeMade design is mapped out using Indo’s exclusive Visual Map technology. LifeMade are a range of specialized progressive lenses featuring optimized designs that are ideal for today’s most common uses and activities, Indo reports.

Essilor of America’s latest PAL designs, Accolade and Accolade Freedom, feature proprietary “Harmonix technology,” which incorporates each patient’s eye shape into the PAL design. Accolade Freedom lenses offer wearers the same benefits with the added dimension of Essilor’s new “FrameOptimization” technology which customizes the backside design using digital surfacing based on frame dimensions.

 Compact Ultra is Carl Zeiss Vision’s next-generation PAL for small frames with a minimum fitting height of 13mm. According to Zeiss, the key to Compact Ultra’s smallframe performance is a 9mm corridor that allows excellent reading vision even at 13mm. The patented design offers “a soft, smooth geometry, excellent binocularity, low skew distortion and peak astigmatism that is lower than many leading short corridor progressive lenses.”

 In the photochromic PAL category, Younger Optics is introducing Drivewear lenses in its Image design. Drivewear lenses combine Transitions Photochromic Technology and NuPolar polarization to create a lens designed specifically to meet the unique visual demands of the driving task. Image boasts one of the widest distortion free distance zones in the industry, a key advantage for driving.

Vision-Ease Lens recently released LifeRx photochromic lenses in its Outlook PAL design. Available in both gray and brown, Outlook LifeRx progressive polycarbonate lenses offer clear vision in all areas, especially distance. Vision-Ease has also extended the add powers of its Illumina LifeRx photochromic progressive and its Illumina SunRx polarized progressive polycarbonate lenses.

 KBco is expanding its EOS polarized PAL line by offering it in standard plastic in KBco both gray-C and KBco brown- C. The lens has a minimum fitting height of 17mm.

KBco is also unveiling an 8- base 1.67 high-index SFSV spherical lens. This polarized lens is available in KBco true gray and KBco brown-C and it is manufactured using MR-10 resin. Also new from KBco is a polarized photochromic plano lens called Light & Day, which is available in gray and brown and in several sizes and base curves.

 Panoptx’ new Bora sunglass features PureTec polarized photochromic copper lenses. Made of NXT material, the lenses retain a 30 percent to 12 percent Tv range. The inner lens surface is flow-coated with a durable anti-fog treatment for performance in all weather conditions. Panoptx also makes a marine version of this lens that substitutes a hydrophobic treatment for the anti-fog coating.

Essilor’s new Crizal Sun is an integrated AR technology designed to complement sunwear. Crizal Sun lenses offer the same scratch protection and ease of cleaning to both sides of the lens as Crizal Alizé, according to Essilor. Specialized integrated technology reduces backside glare without the common front side color changes, keeping original color and look of the lens. Crizal Sun is infused into the lens, so it will not wear or peel off over time. The lenses, available in polycarbonate and highindex plastic, come with Essilor’s Pad Control System.

 Another new entry in the AR field is iCoat’s Topit. ICoat combines a newly formulated version of its Fusion XTO AR in combination with an ultra slick super oleophobic topcoat, resulting in the company’s easiest-toclean AR product to date. The coating is compatible with all optical hardcoats and can be applied to any lens style or material, including glass.

 See Worthy is introducing the Sable RS101MT model for competitive swimmers. Building on its flat lens and aspherical technologies, Sable has added a flash mirrored finish to its antiscratch coating. The mirrored lenses reduce glare, thus creating increased aquatic eyewear comfort; they are available in blue, green, fuschia and gold.


 Santinelli International will debut the ME-1000 Design+ Multifunction Edger. This up-grade to the company’s ME- 1000 edger features exclusive lens facet and partial grooving functions, enabling eyecare practitioners to expand, create and customize rimless eyewear. With the new ME-1000 Design+, highly fashionable facet processing is applied to the lens outline, providing a “jewel-like” finish. A userfriendly touch panel provides quick and intuitive operation of the facet function. Both front and rear facets are available, and the facet amount and width are easily set by the operator.

 The Rae Tracer is the newest addition to Gerber Coburn’s extensive line of finishing products. Fast, accurate, and easy to use, the Rae Tracer is designed to meet the requirements of the most challenging frame traces, from highly curved wraps to children’s frames. Its three-axis control captures 12,800 points (A and B, as well as frame curve and elevation) for accurate three-dimensional shapes. A two-line LCD display gives immediate job and trace feedback. The Rae Tracer is completely compatible with OMA compliant host software systems, making it ideal for use in remote locations.

 Schneider will showcase its compact direct surface and Rx line consisting of the HSC smart and the CP Swift. The combination brings full surfacing capability to virtually any small to midsized production lab, according to Schneider.

 Super Systems’ Fast Grind 2200 in-office surfacing system is now capable of producing computer lenses. An advanced software upgrade that calculates the correct Rx based on patients viewing distance from the monitor, it will enable all existing and new Fast Grind customers to produce computer lenses from their existing stock of progressive lenses. The same lens blank, from stock, can produce standard progressive prescriptions or computer lenses.

 The new NSLP from DAC International offers the latest in computer controlled soft lap polishing. The X axis controls the motion of the dual heads, following a preprogrammed path for optimum polishing efficiency. The NSLP utilizes one soft air tool to polish all curves generated by the DAC RxD Lathe. One tool does it all. In addition, the soft air tool features computer controlled, adjustable motion, pressure and time cycles to assure consistent, but adjustable removal rates.

OptiSource International will debut a first-of-its-kind, multifunctional photochromic lens demonstrator machine. The single unit acts as a photochromic lens demonstrator, UV spectrophotometer and visible light meter. It will activate any brand photochromic lens either mounted or un-mounted, accurately measure the UV transmittance of any lens and the visible light transmittance of tinted lenses.

The DigiOmeter from Western Optical Supply provides digital accuracy when measuring interpupillary distance (PD). Measurement options include PD and right/left monocular distance. This instrument measures the distance between the pupils focusing on the light spot reflecting off the patient’s retina.