I’ve just returned from Vision Expo West, and there was a terrific energy to those attending classes and those visiting the booths. It was higher than I had expected. For many I spoke to, technology seemed to take center stage, whether it was the way that new frame materials could be combined in unique styling, the lens choices for better customer vision, more new product opportunities made easier to sell or the instrumentation that speeds and improves patient care.

Expo also was especially retail-centric, i.e., full of subtle and in your face idea opportunities to better the way that one merchandises products, your office and yourselves. VM Live brought home the fact that a sale today is about the experience and not the transaction. Whether it is how to use technology or communication tools to meet and exceed the consumer’s evolving expectations, one must change. The Expo-endorsed 20/20, Vision Monday and WWD live events offered ideas and most importantly, the words to use when talking about how design, tech and style in eyewear keeps up with the color, material and shape trends. These sessions were rich in social media opportunities also, one of your easiest ways to reach today’s customer. In fact, many I talked to described how they believed that their business’ Facebook page was more accessed and more effective to advertise their office and abilities.

The Vision Council continued its education about digital eyestrain and offered a new infographic, “What is Blue Light.” Be sure to visit thevisioncouncil.org for the 2017 Digital Eyestrain Report. It is a clear review of how blue light affects our lives and the ways to discuss it.

This month’s CE, by this author, is a product spotlight titled, “Nikon SeeCoat Bright, Functional AR, More Than Just Clear.” Selective absorption, the way that optical filters work, takes a twist. Nikon addresses the way that the brain “sees” brightness and color, by pre-filtering the wavelengths the eye receives. Reduced illumination or the effects of aging on the clear media of the eye change the way that we see color, specifically red. Nikon has created a new functional AR for clear lenses intended to improve and brighten colors and vision. Think of this as a technology solution for a retail-centric event, i.e., for the customer that complains of less confidence or comfort in dim light, that is virtually all older adults.

Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM