ECPs Offer Predictions for the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Optical Products

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WASKED HUNDREDS of PCEs who took part in the big INVISION 2021 survey what they thought the next disruptive trend in optical products would be. Among the usual suspects – larger frames… smaller frames… metals, acetates… vintage! – respondents mentioned real strengths.

According to many, anti-fog treatments and products are not going anywhere, any of them applying an “AR anti-fog coating” would hit hard. Nearsightedness continues to be a buzzword when it comes to both glasses and contact lenses to treat it, but serious excitement surrounds the possibility of eye drops for the treatment of presbyopia.

On the design side, they expected to see more customization, likely using 3D printing. “Custom 3D Printed Frames” and “Interchangeable Frame Faces, In-House 3D Printed Frames” to name two. One respondent believed that this customization would be possible with “AI-assisted design” and another believed that “3D printing repairs” would become another item in an optician’s toolbox. And it seems that the price is less and less of a concern: “Something personalized. Everyone wants to be special right now and are willing to pay for it.

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Technologically, respondents of course mentioned smart glasses and wearable devices, but went a step further in the hope that they will be fully integrated with smartphones and have a head-up display.

And finally, from a business perspective, they noted, “more design houses are taking over the ownership, manufacture and sale of their own products – fewer licenses of their coveted brands” and “an increase in LASIK, [since] people are tired of fogged up lenses and dry contact lenses when wearing masks. “

The big 2021 survey was conducted between September and October, attracting nearly 400 anonymous responses from visionary business owners across the United States. The full results are published in the November-December issue of INVISION.


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