The genesis for Smart Vision Labs’ mobile vision technology came over a decade ago, when Yaopeng Zhou and long-time friend Marc Albanese were working on their graduate degrees in electrical engineering at Boston University. They were conducting research in adaptive optics at nearby Schepens Eye Research Institute to measure diabetic retinopathy treatment in mice by monitoring the retina.

After earning their masters, Zhou and Albanese went their separate ways; Zhou went on to get his PhD and Albanese entered a career in finance. They reconnected in early 2011 when both were in New York attending the MBA program at New York University.

In early 2012, Yaopeng Zhou read that one billion people around the world need glasses. How could he help solve this crisis? Zhou started thinking again of his work at Schepens. What if they adapted the optics to the supercomputer in our pocket: our smartphones? And that’s how Smart Vision Labs was founded.

Within four years the team had launched three products and provided over 40,000 refractions around the globe. And this is just the beginning.

Company Timeline

  • Nov 2013 – Smart Vision Labs founded
  • Jan 2014 – Verizon Award of $1 million
  • March 2015 – Launched SVOne handheld autorefractor
  • July 2015 – Demoed at New York Tech Meetup
  • Feb 2016 – Launched SVOne Enterprise & SVOne Pro
  • July 2016 – Launched Smart Vision Exam service in New York