Listen to Yaopeng on the Power Hour Radio Show - October 12, 2016

Last month our CEO and co-founder Yaopeng Zhou had the opportunity to return to Power Hour for an exciting and passionate discussion on the future of vision care and why it’s important to empower opticians and provide consumers with choice and education.

Dr. Gary Gerber, a long-time friend of the company, led an engaging conversation on Smart Vision Exams and why we believe telemedicine is a benefit (not a detriment) to patient eye health.

Listen to the full recording below:


Want to see some video footage? Check out Yaopeng on Facebook Live during the interview!

Herman Snellen Eye Chart - Smart Vision Labs

Will Herman Snellen Be at Your Next Eye Exam?

Okay, maybe you have never heard of Herman Snellen, but his eye chart is legendary. Snellen was a Dutch ophthalmologist who introduced the Snellen chart to study visual acuity in 1862. You’ve seen the chart many times; it’s the one on the wall with the large letter ‘E’ at the top.

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity is a measurement of how clear your vision is. A standard eye chart has formed the basis of this test for a very long time. It’s also how we got the expression: 20/20 vision.

20/20 vision is more accurately 20/20 visual acuity. This is considered “normal” vision, which means that a person can read at 20 feet a letter that most human beings should be able to read at 20 feet. Sounds easy, right? It is actually, and the letters on the chart are a certain size for that specific reason.

Here’s an example of the math behind this eye chart. If all you could read on the chart was the big letter E at the top, and none of the letters below it, your vision would be 20/200. That means you can read at a distance of 20 feet, a letter that people with normal vision could read at 200 feet. Your vision acuity would be 20/200 and would be considered very poor.

To have 20/20 vision acuity, you would need to be able to read the line of letters that are fourth from the bottom on the eye chart.

Since not everyone can do that, corrective lenses are sometimes prescribed. An exam can uncover the degree of vision acuity you have and can adequately address it with eyeglasses.

Herman Snellen and Smartphones

A Smart Vision Exam is one way to do determine your visual acuity. This test takes the idea that Herman Snellen developed and added today’s technology to improve it. Think of it as the standard eye chart meeting the power of smartphone connectivity.

This eye test can still determine if you have 20/20 vision or not, but it gives you the results in a more efficient way. The Smart Vision Labs technology has packed several eye measurements into one device. You will be screened to see if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.

The scan and photos of your eyes will be accessed by an eyecare professional who will receive this data electronically at a remote location. If you are experiencing less than perfect acuity, it may be determined that corrective lenses may help you.

Herman Snellen may be quite pleased to see how his eye chart has evolved thanks to technology. Although the principles he introduced to measure vision acuity are still used, they are determined through a more convenient and efficient way. That’s progress that can benefit all of us.

Now, instead of facing the wall and looking at the large letter E, you can let the wonders of technology ‘see’ into your eyes and gather important data.

Having your eyes checked just got a lot Easier, and, yes, that is easier with a capital E.


2016 World Sight Day

At Smart Vision Labs, our mission is simple: Increase access to vision care by leveraging innovation and technology. We work hard every day to make this goal a reality.

In honor of World Sight Day on October 13th, Smart Vision Labs will provide a vision exam to a student in New York for every Smart Vision Exam completed at one of our partner optical shops.

Stop into one of our New York locations to check your vision and help a student receive a needed vision exam! Find a location near you.

Click to find a Smart Vision Exam near you:


Eyes and Magnifying Glasses - Smart Vision Labs

Private Eyes and Magnifying Glasses

Do you know what you have in common with a private eye? Sure, you may both like a good mystery and finding clues, but there is something more important. A private eye needs to be able to see very well, and that’s a goal we all have.

Sometimes those pesky clues are hidden on the head of a pin or on the back of a jumping flea. That’s why a private detective will pull out a magnifying glass to enlarge the area and increase his chances of making a valuable discovery.

A magnifying glass is a private eye’s best friend. The first reference of someone using a magnifying glass was in 1021. Although a private eye may not have been the first to use this device, sleuths eventually rejoiced at this invention.

The basic idea is that the light rays that pass through the magnifying glass are bent to make things look bigger than they really are. And this concept came from the way our eyes ‘see’ things on a daily basis. When light enters our eyes through the cornea, (the outermost part of the eye) it then travels to the retina (which is at the back of the eye).  But what determines the clarity of the image is where the light rays are focused in relation to the retina.

If the light rays focus on the retina, your vision is perfect.  But if the light focuses behind the retina, this is called hyperopia, or farsightedness. With this condition, a person can see distant objects clearly, but close objects may not come into proper focus.

The opposite type of vision problem is called nearsightedness or myopia. This happens when the light rays that enter your eyes focus in front of the retina. People who have myopia have trouble seeing objects at a distance while things that are near to them are clearly seen.

The good news is that both of these conditions are refractive errors, which means your vision can be improved with corrective lenses.

The idea behind prescription eyeglasses is relatively simple and is also similar to the idea behind a magnifying glass. Vision is, in large part, a bending of light rays.

The first step in addressing any type of blurry vision is to have a checkup. A 5-minute Smart Vision Exam is the perfect place to start. As the name implies, it takes a grand total of 5 minutes and can let you know if your vision is blurry due to either a nearsighted or farsighted condition. Your eyes will be scanned and photographed and a licensed doctor will go over the data. You will get the results, through email, within 24 hours. If you need corrective lenses, a prescription will be given to you.

Your corrective lenses will contain the exact type of measurements needed to create glasses that will bend the light rays properly. The goal of glasses is to have the light rays focus on the retina, and with the right curvature of the lenses, that will happen.

With the right prescription glasses, you will soon be seeing things as clearly as a private detective.

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Detecting Serious Eye Conditions - Smart Vision Labs

Will Self-Guided Vision Exams Detect Serious Eye Conditions?

We are sure that you will love the speed, convenience and accuracy of taking a 5-minute Smart Vision Exam at one of the many locations you can find a self-guided vision test. Thousands of other people already have. Yet at the same time, you might be wondering . . .

Will a self-administered vision exam* tell me if I am experiencing cataracts, a detached retina, glaucoma, macular degeneration or other serious eye conditions? 

Strong Safeguards Are in Place

That is a very important question to ask. And the answer is that the safety of taking a Smart Vision Exam is supported by a robust set of procedures and safeguards to help assure that you, like all users, will receive appropriate screening for a variety of serious eye conditions . . .

  • Within hours, qualified Smart Vision Exam eye care physicians review the result all self-guided vision exams and immediately contact patients if they notice any conditions that require further examination or treatment.
  • Individuals with certain preexisting eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration are referred to ophthalmologists and are not candidates to take Smart Vision Exams. The health questions will end the test once someone indicates they have any of these eye health issues.
  • Individuals with diabetes and certain other diseases are also referred to ophthalmologists and the self-guided exam ends.
  • Only individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 in good health are appropriate candidates to use the 5-minute Smart Vision Exam to check their vision. Individuals outside that age range are referred to see an eye doctor for a full eye healh exam.

Taking the Macro View of Distributed Eye Care

As we have written about previously on this blog, tens of thousands of people in America could be suffering from undiagnosed eye conditions, simply because they do not have access to eye exams. Our mission and our hope is that Smart Vision Labs will help provide vision exams and appropriate screening to all those individuals, no matter where they live.

Related Posts

Why Eyeglasses Require Prescriptions
How Would Describe Your Last Vision Exam?
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*The American Optometric Association recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years.


Blurry Vision can usually be corrected with corrective eyeglasses - Smart Vision Labs

Blurry Vision and Why We Dot the "Eyes"

Did you ever wonder why we place a dot over the letter i?

It’s to make sure that this letter is seen. Otherwise, the letter i is just a small line in the midst of a word. It would be very easy to be overlooked.

But when you see a dot, you recognize the letter i.

The dot makes you see what you are supposed to see.

Your eyes work in a similar way.

When light rays enter your eyes, they travel through the pupil, or dot in your eyes. The light rays are then curved so that they focus on the retina, which is located in the back of the eye.

These rays of light are then transformed into electrical impulses that travel to the brain through the optic nerve. The brain ‘reads’ these impulses and creates an image that you see.

Having perfect vision is everyone’s wish, but sometimes, the eyes do not process the light rays correctly. In the case of nearsightedness, the light rays are focused in front of the retina rather than directly on the retina.

Farsightedness is just the opposite. The light rays focus behind the retina.

These are called refractive errors because the eyes are not bending, or refracting, the light rays correctly. Yet, these conditions can be easily addressed with the right prescription eyeglasses.

Fixing Blurry Vision

If you feel that you have blurry vision, whether you are looking at things close up or far away, a 5-minute vision exam may be just what you need.

Yes, in only 5 minutes, your vision will be checked. You will need to first answer a few simple questions about your eyes and your health. Then your eyes will be scanned using the same type of technology designed for LASIK procedures. Some photos of your eyes will be taken and then all of this data will be sent to a licensed eye doctor. After this information is reviewed, you will get an email, within 24 hours, explaining the results of this exam.

If you need corrective lenses, a prescription will be given to you.

The interesting thing about corrective lenses is that they are curved to make sure the light rays focus on the retina, like they are supposed to.

It’s almost like putting the dot on the letter i. The curve of the lenses is calculated to focus the light rays on the retina which will improve your vision and help you to see better.

The exact curvature of the lenses will be determined by the data generated from the 5-minute vision exam. For nearsightedness, concave lenses are used, while convex lenses are helpful in correcting farsightedness.

The good news is that refractive errors in vision can usually be addressed with the right prescriptive lenses. And the even better news is that a 5-minute vision exam can determine if you have a condition that can be improved with eyeglasses.

The dot on the i lets you see that letter better.

And a vision exam can let you see the rest of world more clearly.

Visit one of our providers today for the best 5 minutes you will spend on your eyes.

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vision exams don't have to be about which is better 1 or 2. Try a Smart Vision Exam today.

"Which Is Better One or Two?" How About Neither?

“Which is better, one or two? One, or two.”

Many people fear this part of visiting their eye doctor. Thoughts race through their mind. “Is my vision getting worse?” “They look the same.” “What if I choose the wrong one?” “Oh, that definitely was not the letter Q.”

Anxiety over the eye test itself is another reason people put off getting a vision exam. However, vision tests are important to make sure you have the best eyesight possible. Glasses are a much better look than squinting (not to mention much safer as well). Many people are also walking around with poor vision without even realizing it!

The whole “one or two” part of an exam is actually a refraction test, also called a vision test. It is checking if the person has normal 20/20 vision. If the exam shows they don’t, it will determine the type and strength of the prescription lenses the person should be wearing. Since it is such an important test, it is understandable why it makes people nervous about picking one or two.

But for these people, the 5-minute Smart Vision Exam is perfect. At every step of the way, it does something to take the worrying out of the process of getting a vision test.

The whole thing takes only 5 minutes and you don’t even need an appointment. No worrying about trying to juggle a busy schedule around to get your vision checked. Just step into the nearest optical store hosting a Smart Vision Exam the next time you pass by.

As for the test itself, you are asked a few quick questions about your eyes and health history, which you probably just answered in your head as you read this. Next up is a scan of your eyes using wavefront technology, the same kind of thing which makes LASIK surgery happen. This might sound complicated but all you have to do is find a red light with your eyes. The last part of the exam takes some pictures of your eyes. And that is the test!

The technology does the work so there is no wondering if you chose the “right” answer. And no, you don’t have to worry about the exam getting your test results wrong either. All the information is sent to a licensed ophthalmologist who will let you know if you need a prescription for lenses within 24 hours. After you get your results, you will know if your eyesight is perfect or if you have trouble seeing near objects, far objects, or both.

If your vision was good, that’s all there is to it. If it wasn’t as good as it could be, you get a secure online login which holds your prescription. You can then take your time picking out frames that suit your style and budget from wherever you like.

Actually, with a Smart Vision Exam, the only time “one, or two” gets asked is by you — when you’re asking family and friends which new pair of glasses looks best on you.

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