Eye Proverbs

The Wisdom of the Eyes

Of course you’ve heard of wisdom teeth, but do you know about the wisdom in your eyes? Apparently philosophers in various cultures did because there are a lot of proverbs written about the eyes.

Let’s take a look and see what these wise sayings really mean.

“Onions, smoke, and women bring tears to your eyes.” – Danish Proverb

Certain things literally bring tears to our eyes, like onions. They are a great ingredient in many meals but, let’s be honest, cutting them is a nuisance. Our eyes burn, the tears fall, and you may wonder if it’s easier to just toss some onion powder in the food rather than torture your eyes.

There is a physical reason for the irritation onions cause. When they are sliced, onions produce a gaseous chemical known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide. This wafts up in the air where it comes into contact with the moisture in your eyes. The ciliary nerve is triggered, you feel a burning sensation, and tears are produced.

Although knowing why you cry around onions is nice, it’s a better thing to know how to stop it. A couple tips are to refrigerate the onions prior to slicing them; this slows down the reaction rate of the chemical that is released. Another alternative is to run water over the onions since the syn-propanethial-S-oxide is water soluble and this will eliminate its presence.

“Eyes that see do not grow old.” – Nicaraguan Proverb

We all worry about growing old since it seems that certain body parts may not work as well with age. Usually around the age of 40, people notice that they cannot see clearly at close distances. This is a normal part of aging since the lenses in the eyes become less flexible. This makes it harder to focus on near objects. Other eye issues more common with age include glaucoma, cataracts, decreased peripheral vision, and trouble driving at night.

But there is an excellent way to keep your eyes as healthy as possible as you age. The answer is with regular vision exams. All of these eye conditions can be addressed; many times all you may need are prescription glasses. Getting old doesn’t mean you won’t be able to see well. It only means that your eyes need to be examined more frequently, especially if you are having any problems.

“Not all are asleep who have their eyes shut.”  Italian Proverb

No one should sleep with their eyes open unless they just watched a Stephen King movie. Your eyes need sleep just like your body does. Many people suffer from chronic eye fatigue which means your eyes may just feel tired all the time.

During sleep, the eyes are renewed through some basic ‘housekeeping’ processes. Old cells are sloughed off, making way for new cells. The tear ducts replenish themselves. All of these things add to the immunity of our eyes and keep them as healthy as possible. For optimal benefits, our eyes need at least seven hours of sleep to restore the nutrients they need.

Throughout time, across continents, and in every language, the eyes have been the subject of proverbs and much speculation. There has been an air of mystery associated with the eyes but also an air of certainty: the eyes need regular vision exams for optimal health.

That might not be a proverb but it sure makes sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Upstarts and Startups in Eyewear Fashion

Upstarts and Startups in Eyewear Fashion

The eyewear industry is getting a whole new look. It also features a new vocabulary with words and phrases like disruptors, trendsetters, revolutionary, and cult online brands. Established industry leaders are now shoulder to shoulder with indie designers, entrepreneurial manufacturers, and intrapreneurs.

What’s the takeaway? A whole new way to create, distribute, and buy eyewear that is cost-effective and convenient.

By dictionary definition, trendsetters lead the way in fashion or ideas. By industry definition, they are among the key players in the eyewear industry’s disruption.

Enter the Trendsetters

No matter where you look, the landscape of the eyewear industry is changing. Whether the term used is upstarts, disruptors, or innovative thinkers, the result is the same: this industry has moved from a two-player game (established manufacturers and distributors) to a multi-level playing field. Everyone, including a Kickstarter campaign and a global luxury brand seeking to rewire their business DNA, has a stake in the movement.

But the real winners are the consumers. Go figure.

Figure is the right word to use since numbers are at the foundation of this movement. The global eyewear market is poised for a huge burst with industry experts predicting it will reach $140 billion by 2020. In a pre-disruption time, this would have seen the industry expand with comfortable tweaks that would inevitably bring the dollars back to the side of the established players.

They saw that same prediction and realized the dollars can be distributed differently, toward creating unique designs, using new materials, and establishing an atmosphere of freedom. The ‘win-win’ scenario they developed set everyone in the industry free to bring the best eyewear to the most people. Consumers applaud this since they also receive a share of the profits through cost-effective buying options, convenience, and having their voices heard.

The trendsetters not only entered; they sat, listened, and acted.

Anyone who disrupts an industry has a plan that is bigger than the present model. Yet, the path to disruption can take several forms. Some upstarts establish startups to have a clean slate. Others may work within an established company to reinforce their position in a new and significant way.

Kering Eyewear is an example of the latter. At first glance, they look like a startup but they are backed by Kering Group, which includes brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney. So what does it look like when a luxury goods giant finances the framework for an eyewear business?

No one will need glasses to see the benefits this union provides. Kering Eyewear is best described as a mixed-model. They have taken back control of design and product development, as well as marketing and distribution. They are no longer locked into agreements with certain manufacturers but can deal with a range of specialist makers.

This leads to a high level of consumer satisfaction by providing high quality at realistic prices. Kering Eyewear’s business model includes responding faster to market needs and making the most of new opportunities.

Kering Eyewear focuses on a future which brings much welcomed reforms to this industry. Using their financial backing to support their new mindset lets them take the challenge of change and turn it into a huge opportunity.

What’s the Takeaway?

The message of the eyewear industry’s disruption is that the time for change is now. But what’s most impressive about this movement is that it comes with convictions.

There are several factors in place that have never been together before. The first is the prediction (more like a fact-to-be) of the market growing exponentially. Yet, the consumer base that will fuel that growth is of a new breed.

Made up largely of millennials, these consumers bring more to the table than their credit cards. They bring a vision. No, that is not a pun for eyewear; millennials live for ideas and concepts and beliefs. They embrace life and art and need to connect to products in more than a physical way. Trendsetters are listening and responding.

There is no business as usual for the current consumers; they want to know how and why a product was made. They want to know the materials used, the venues of distribution, and all the available choices. They will either accept a company’s philosophy or reject it. The latter is not only a sale lost, it’s the voice of a customer who is socially connected and not afraid to share their thoughts on any company.

Industry disruptors have established ways to address core concerns. By remaining flexible and leveraging their autonomy, they are quicker to respond to market needs, can adapt to new opportunities, and keep promises to consumers.

Yet, this market demands more than a great product. The takeaway needs to connect to consumers in a significant way.

That’s exactly what Tom Steward and Michael Charley did. Their 2012 Kickstarter campaign for a line of quality, affordable sunglasses led to a $2 million-dollar business; Sunski. Their premise was simple and their strategy for implementing it was brilliant.

The duo recognized that quality sunglasses are either incredibly expensive, in which case people are afraid to actually wear them and risk breaking them, or else the glasses are so cheap they need to be replaced at warp speed.

They created sunglasses for real-life use, but the actual product is only half of the story. Every lens is polarized on Sunski sunglasses and comes with UVA/B/400 protection. The styles are unisex (a big selling feature!) and the polycarbonate frames have a lifetime warranty. If the frames break (doesn’t matter how) consumers can send them back for free repair or replacement. For the lenses, they offer a very cheap replacement kit. If we stop right there, everyone can agree that is an unusual way of doing business.

But Sunski is not only about sunglasses. They have a real interest in the environment. They had previously been donating 1 percent of their earnings to various environmental groups. But on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, they gave 100 percent of their online sales to One Percent for the Plant. This was to show solidarity with the outdoor industry and to inspire their supporters to stand up for the environment by taking action in their community.

Besides making a contribution to the world around them, they generated a customer base that applauded their actions and pledged loyalty to them.

The takeaway is never a give-away, rather, it’s something for the consumer to embrace and wear. And ‘wearing’ is not only putting on a pair of sunglasses. Today’s consumer connects to the companies they support because they decided that the company deserves their support.

Kreativity?

There can’t be trendsetters without creativity. These industry disruptors recognize the impact creativity brings to a movement. While a new business model is being established, the creative element softens the edges, adds color, and generates excitement.

And sometimes creativity starts with a K.

Krewe opened its French Quarter flagship store in New Orleans on the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In a perfectly balanced approach, the company mixes the old with the new. This melding of atmosphere, people, places, and ideas is at the heart of this eyewear leader. Their fans and loyal consumers are part of their ‘krewe’ (pronounced crew) which is a New Orleans term to signify the diverse group of people that celebrate together at the Carnival season each year.

krewe-tinyhouse5

How does this relate to eyewear? Founder, Stirling Barrett, is a New Orleans native and artist with a background in photography. He recognized how photography and eyewear deal with perspective and lenses and translated that into the creation of unique frames.

The frame that literally set this company in full view of the world is the St. Louis one. It was inspired by the wrought iron fences and balconies that define the architecture of New Orleans. The frame is made of acetate and metal which gives it a distinctive and unique vibe. It was Barrett’s idea to create a brand around this city’s style and he has since fashioned other frames around specific locations.

Beyoncé was the company’s first famous fan, and now the Krewe includes Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Kendall Jenner to name a few. A very active social media presence contributes to the buzz and connects consumers and celebrities alike. ‘Krewe’ has become more than a word for a diverse group coming together; it has come to represent the goal of celebrating individual style, regardless of location, affluence, or influence.

No matter how you spell creativity, when it’s used to its best advantage, it generates an unparalleled excitement that consumers notice every time.

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Another Kickstarter Story

Is it time for another Kickstarter story? The very fact that Kickstarter is associated with eyewear industry disruptors is significant.

The entire purpose of Kickstarter is to bring creative projects to life. This global community offers direct support via their real-time funding platform. Legacy Eyewear wanted to offer handmade, polarized sunglasses made of wood. Kickstarter got the company in consumers’ minds and the glasses in their hands.

As with any trendsetting, it started as an idea. Pete Duncan’s father dealt with cabinetry and custom wood projects. Pete learned to appreciate the process of woodworking, and learned the variety of character in each type of wood. He was able to take a project from raw material to finished product but soon realized that there was an initial step he wanted to venture in. That step was designing.

Pete wanted a company that would handcraft wood eyewear that was affordable, beautiful and rugged. Legacy Eyewear came into existence in 2016. These sunglasses are made by a small team of expert craftsmen. Every pair is made with quality as the first requirement.

Polarized and shatterproof lenses are made with dual scratch resistant coatings and 100% UVA/UVB protection. Double-hinged frames offer flexibility as well as comfort. And these sunglasses even float!

Yet, the philosophy behind Legacy Eyewear is more than just great sunglasses. The wood represents what the company stands for. All of it is American-sourced while other eyewear companies procure the wood from China. Pete wanted to do more than just talk about bringing jobs back to America; he wanted to actually make it happen.

With each pair of glasses Legacy Eyewear makes, the company reinforces their beliefs that handcrafted, made-in-America, offers more benefits than mass-produced, made overseas. For this company and this business owner, the way to disrupt the industry is to live out your ideals. Give consumers the best product in the best way without sacrificing quality or integrity.

And guess what? This is exactly what the disruption is all about. Consumers want more than a product; they want a company they can trust.

Eyewear Landscape is Forever Changing

Trendsetters are changing the eyewear industry and that’s good news. While we speak of revolutionary ideas, innovations, and disruptions, changes are literally taking place before our eyes. Call them what you will but they are improving all aspects of this business.

People with ideas about how to create better eyeglasses are finding ways to make and market them. Consumers are looking for a new breed of eyewear business, ones that look beyond the profit line to what may be considered the ‘purpose line’, those larger issues that everyone on the planet has.

Buying and selling eyewear is more about connections than ever. Connecting to the consumer through quality products, American manufacturers, social media, and grassroots campaigns are several ways to do this.

Consumer confidence extends beyond the product to the persons who are the company. Eyewear has become more like “I care” and if the consumer doesn’t care, the products won’t sell. Yet, buying and selling aren’t the only results of this disruption. The main event is the understanding that when businesses listen to people, everyone (even everyone on the whole planet) can benefit.


Should you fire your eye doctor? - Smart Vision Labs

You Really Should Have Your Eyes Examined!

Did you ever see a unicorn? Or maybe pink elephants? How about a fireworks display in the middle of your living room?

If you said, “Yes” to any of these, you are not alone. People have reported seeing these things, but…well…they may not actually have been there. But that’s okay. There is a way to ‘see’ things a bit clearer. Hold on.You Should Have Your Eyes Examined

There Goes a Unicorn!

Unicorns are happy creatures even though they have that (seemingly annoying) horn right in the middle of their head. On the bright side, those horns were magical and were believed to counteract poison and purify water. There have been numerous unicorn sightings over the centuries and many cultures recognize this creature as being very real.

But if you have seen a unicorn lately, the best advice may be to have your eyes examined.

You may not have actually seen a unicorn; maybe it was a deer with only one antler? A vision exam may reveal that you have trouble focusing on distant objects. Like a deer.

This condition is called nearsightedness and happens when the light that enters the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of on its surface. This creates a blurry image for distant objects.

But there is a fix to this. Prescription glasses or contacts can bend the light to the right focal point and eliminate the blurriness. This may also stop you from seeing a deer with one antler and calling it a unicorn.

Aren’t Pink Elephants Pretty?

You Should Have Your Eyes Examined!This one is a bit tricky since elephants are not pink. Okay, a super rare albino elephant might be pinkish but it would also be super rare for you to see one. The best advice may be for you to have your eyes examined.

This vision problem is seeing the wrong color. This is a fairly common condition among men with about 1 in 12 being affected by it. For women, that number is lower. Only 1 in 200 has trouble discerning the correct color of an object. This is often an inherited trait, and there is no cure for it. Affected people learn ways to cope with decisions concerning color.

It’s caused when the photoreceptors in the retina (which are called rods and cones) do not respond properly to the wavelengths of light that enable people to distinguish color.

If you are color blind, it’s best to not mention the pink elephants. (But they are kind of cute, aren’t they?)

Fireworks in the Living Room?

Have you ever seen a display of flashing lights even though it wasn’t the 4th of July? This happens and is more common with age. But the best advice may be for you to have your eyes examined.

The eye is filled with clear gel called vitreous and it may pull away or rub against the retina. Since the retina is highly light-sensitive, this causes the light entering the eye to be improperly ‘seen.’ Flashes of light are the result and a vision exam is definitely in order.

Even though unicorns, pink elephants, and flashes of light may be interesting to see, it might be best to investigate them a little further.

You really should have your eyes examined!

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How to Attract Millennials to Your Optical Store - Smart Vision Labs

How to Attract Millennials to Your Optical Store

Millennials and Optical Retail

Millennials and Optical Retail - Smart Vision Labs
Source: http://whymillennialsmatter.com/

Millennials are more than a buzzword heard on the news. They’re the largest generation since their parents’ and the very first to grow up with digital devices. This combination means products must reach this group and that the old ways of doing so are less effective.

The generally-agreed upon definition for a millennial is a person who was part of the 18 to 34 age demographic in 2015. However, the media has attached their own traits to this group. Self-centered, technology-obsessed, or entitled are common complaints about millennials.

Because of the sheer size of this group, the eyecare industry needs to reach them. However, these negative connotations have resulted in millennials distancing themselves from the term. Despite how true it may be, eyewear created for millennials cannot use that word in their advertising strategy because it seems disconnected and condescending. Several surveys concluded that only around one third of millennials identify with the term. What is the best method to appeal to this group then?

By reaching out and responding to their ideals in a positive way.

This group assigns high priority to expressing individuality. They are the most likely generation to investigate and factor in the ethics of a company. And never experiencing life without a computer nearby means eyecare marketing needs to adapt to the ways millennials communicate, network, and share information online.

To reach out to this group, a company needs to be aware of these issues. In the pre-Internet era, a company’s ethics were a non-factor, unless they did something notable enough to reach the traditional media outlets. Today, stories about any action a company takes, good or bad, can be shared around the world with a tap a smartphone screen. A millennial’s decision to support or boycott a product can be decided in a split second as they read through posts and shared stories on their social media account.

Their individualism also results in support of indie brands. They purchase a unique product as well as the satisfaction of supporting a business which might be operated by only a single person. A millennial’s questioning of the status quo means they are more likely to seek out and support one-of-a-kind, socially conscious and environmentally-friendly businesses or startups.

But what do they look for when shopping for eyewear?

What Do Millennials Want in Eyewear?

What Do Millennials Want in Eyewear? - Smart Vision Labs

Millennials want choice and change, which is exactly what the eyecare industry disruptors are bringing. Transparency in the eyecare business no longer refers to just the see-through quality of lenses; this is a movement to invite the consumer to have more power and a voice that is heard.

Millennials want to be included in the buying experience. The millennial market is expected to grow within the next five years and industry experts are positioning themselves to reach this consumer base effectively.

In eyewear, millennials want style, color and the ‘cool’ factor. While quality and price are also on their list, millennials view eyewear as a way to stand out and make an impression; cost is a consideration but not a deal-breaker. To this generation, eyewear is a necessary accessory. Whether the glasses are used to correct refractive errors or are worn to protect against UV rays, millennials want to stylishly combine form and function.

This generation is also visually-oriented. They view color, shapes, and designs as ways to express their individuality in whatever event they attend. When selecting eyewear, they like choices whether in-person or online. Choosing is a big part of the buying experience for them and eyecare professionals would do well to keep that in mind.

Millennials want change in the eye care industry as well. At the forefront is customer service. This is a generation that connects and communicates. In-person, they want a knowledgeable sales staff that listens and knows the latest trends. Online, they want to be able to open a chat or join a forum to express their views or ask a question. Social media is the voice of millennials and insightful marketers will speak this language.

An excellent example of a company that has embraced all of these concepts is DITA Eyewear. This company was established in Los Angeles in 1995 with one mission: to create unique, innovative, and finely crafted eyewear. This company has not only heard the voice of the millennial consumer, they are actively giving that voice expression through designing eyewear that connects and communicates with them on their own terms.

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                    DITA Journey Sunglasses

Where Do Millennials Shop?

In line with their individualism, millennials don’t accept the status quo the eyecare industry has set. They question the “why” of the entire system, from how they get the prescription to the moment they put those new glasses on. The goals of eyecare industry disruptors tend to align with the ideals of millennials which has resulted in the creation and flourishing of the online eyewear market.

Disruptors seek to create transparency so the consumer can see how the industry was operating and how much more efficient it could be which aids the ethics research millennials do. Use of technology, from smartphone vision tests to 3D printed frames, shows this generation that the company is current and interested in achieving ideals rather than relying on old methods. Businesses who create frames from recycled material or ones who seek to improve the availability of glasses in developing countries allows millennials to support philanthropic causes and gives reason to spread the word about the company.

Indie companies are making huge changes in the eyewear industry. This would not have been possible before the technology, desire for change, and millennials to share their ideals and support their businesses.

Millennials and Eye Care

When it comes to vision exams, millennials want convenience. They have fully embraced technology and understand its usefulness. They are also confident in using digital devices and are among the first demographic to try out new technology. When vision care providers understand this mindset, they are better able to address the concerns of this group of consumers.

Convenience comes in the form of being able to schedule vision exams at times beneficial to them, or not having to schedule an appointment at all. The last idea may seem a bit radical since traditional exams require going through a gate-keeper to set up an appointment, and then sitting in a waiting room wondering why your time for the exam has been delayed.

Smart Vision Labs has a simple and very effective solution. They offer a 5-minute Smart Vision Exam that doesn’t even require an appointment. When a millennial shows up at one of the participating vision care providers, the exam can begin.

There is a paperwork part of the vision test, in which consumers are asked basic information and general questions about their overall health. Specific questions about any eye problems or concerns will also be asked. Wavefront technology scans the person’s eyes, photos of the eyes will be taken, and all of the data will be sent to a licensed ophthalmologist to review. If a prescription is needed, it will be sent via email to the person within 24 hours.

Convenient? Yes. Millennials also appreciate the use of technology to store their vision care results and make their prescriptions accessible. Smart Vision Labs offers consumers a password-protected portal in which to view and download their prescription. And that prescription, as well as the vision exam results, will be accessible whenever they log in.

Millennials know the power of technology to offer a convenient approach to eye care. This consumer group will shun traditional and outdated business models in favor of more tech-savvy ones. When they want a vision exam, they will look for convenience (on their terms) and digital devices to streamline the process.

The future of vision care providers needs to include the very real expectations of millennials. Convenience is possible because of technology, yet there is a certain boldness that requires those in the eyecare industry to put it to use. When dealing with eye care and vision exams, there shouldn’t be a ‘let’s-see-if-the-market-is-ready’ approach; providers who are truly committed to eye health will use every means possible to encourage people to get regular vision exams.

Marketing and Millennials

Marketing and Millennials - Smart Vision Labs

Millennials’ impact on the eyecare industry is only just beginning. Besides being poised as the next generation of consumers, millennials are unique in several ways. There is an increase in myopia in this age group which will create a direct correlation to their involvement with all things pertaining to eyecare. Research is being conducted to determine the cause of this growing trend, and there is a popular theory that not only offers an explanation but may help define this generation.

The ‘near work’ hypothesis suggests that this age group has strained their eyes through reading and using smartphones and other digital devices. Another correlation appears to be between the increased education level of millennials and myopia.

These apparent causes for the frequency of myopia also define this group. They are very interested and comfortable with technology and place a high value on education. Millennials bring these traits to the opticians and optical stores and will shop according to where their beliefs are best implemented.

When purchasing prescription glasses or sunglasses, millennials look for frames that will create the image they want to project. This is a generation that loves all things unique, indie retailers, customized frames, and colors. Their view of glasses is balanced by the idea that they are not just an accessory. Form and function play a key role in their choice of eyewear.

And millennials are the group that will research how their prescription glasses and frames are made. They love to be part of the process through educating themselves. They ask questions and expect answers. They especially like to share their opinions on social media or forums.

Millennials are more than just a group of consumers; they are people who love connecting and expressing themselves. This can translate into sales for the linear-thinking marketers but for those in the eyecare industry who want to make a real impression, this is something to listen to. Give the millennials a voice and invite them to be part of the changes that are happening in this industry. Think of them less of a consumer and more of a partner.

Millennials know what they want, where to get it, and why it’s the best for them. And they love to share these thoughts with others. Opticians and optical stores should never overlook the impact of this generation.

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Jobs in the Optical Industry - Smart Vision Labs

Post-Disruption Jobs in the Optical Industry

Post-Disruption Jobs in the Optical Industry

The effects of optical industry disruptors aren’t only seen in new startups and creative business models. They change not only how businesses operate but also how the employees work. The vision disruptors’ shared goals of affordable eye care and industry transparency need people to bring lofty ideas down to earth where they can be useful.

The changes disruptors made to the eyecare industry affect the day-to-day operations of businesses down to their smallest unit: the employee. Disruptors work with optical engineers to design a prototype, medical science liaisons to ensure the product is viable, and marketers to get the word out to potential consumers.

Not only do these positions have a new person to work with, the disruptor, they also have to adapt to the resulting changes. Eyecare industry disruptors rely heavily on technology, software, and communication to introduce new ways of doing things and the employees, scientists, and engineers that work alongside them must do the same. Engineers work with advanced 3D modeling software to design new equipment, staff opticians walk people through vision tests over teleconferencing, and licensed ophthalmologists read and report on results for a patient they never saw in person. Because disruptors have made technology and software important aspects of the eye care industry, the people who currently work in this field need to navigate these changes and incorporate them into their job description.

There are two ways optical industry professionals work along with disruptors. The first is the link between a disruptor and the technical aspects like healthcare, science, and engineering. Although it is behind-the-scenes work, it is essential to insure the disruptor’s idea is both practical and commercially viable. The other seeks to create communication between the disruptor and the consumer they are looking to reach. Telling consumers that they can afford eye care, where to get it, and why this new way of doing things is better for them are all part of fulfilling transparency goals.

Medical Science Liaison 

In order to create effective and practical solutions, disruptors’ ideas and goals need to align with the needs of the healthcare industry and the technological limits of engineering. A medical science liaison manages the healthcare part.

The primary focus of their job is to enable effective communication between industry innovators and their fellow scientists and doctors. They are the link between the people with the ideas and the people who carry them out. The medical science liaison uses the knowledge gained from getting their doctorate in a specific field (such as ophthalmology) to work with both idealistic goals and rigid industry conventions.

Their purpose is to provide balanced, informative insight on how to improve a product using the knowledge of their selected medical field. Because they are familiar with the healthcare aspect, they are able to explain the kind of effect the disruptor’s product will have.

A Medical Liaison is one of many important post disruptive jobs in the Optical Industry - Smart Vision Labs
Our former liaison Dr. Huy Tran

Optical Engineer/Optical Scientist

Optical engineers are responsible for every phase of creation, from the idea to the final implementation. Their skills need to cross several disciplines, as this position is a mix of both engineering and physics.

In the initial stage, the optical engineer needs to envision a device that will fulfill a need in the industry. This may include a new way to test for eye disorders or perhaps it involves improving an aspect of laser surgery. However, to complete each project successfully, there are several mandatory questions to answer.

What is practical? The optical engineer needs to mentally inventory the technology and materials that are currently available to create the new device. This assessment is the first step to determine the viability of the project.

How does it work? If the possibility for creation exists, then it needs to be designed. This takes the idea and brings it into the physical world through the use of measurements, materials, and the laws of physics. The optical engineer creates the framework that holds the device and the mechanical components that will make it work.

Does it work? Testing and analyzing the completed device may or may not be the final stage. Modifications or even a complete reevaluation of the project may be needed. In many cases, the optical engineer is involved in the assembly process which provides even greater control and input in the development of the device. A manufacturing engineer could also take over this aspect but there needs to be communication with the optical engineer at all stages.

The many hats an optical engineer wears during the creation-to-implementation process make this a very interesting position. Although this career is primarily a desk job, there will be many opportunities to work with others and to travel to testing facilities or laboratories. During the design or testing phase, longer work hours may be needed, yet there is a definite feeling of satisfaction achieved from creating devices that will improve the optical industry.

There is a great demand for optical engineers and the field is filled with growth, thanks to eyecare industry disruptors. As the current business model for eye care embraces ever-changing technological advances, the optical engineer will be at the forefront creating devices that lead the way into a better future.

Chief Optical Scientist Kaccie Li - One of many post disruptive jobs in the Optical Industry - Smart Vision Labs
Chief Optical Scientist Kaccie Li

Staff Opticians and Licensed Ophthalmologists

As technology is created and improved and the optical industry evolves, optical staff technicians keep up with these changes. The on-site technicians have always collected the patient’s basic information and conducted a traditional-style vision test. Staff opticians still do these things but in new ways that reflect the influence brought about by industry disruptors.

They might have started out giving a vision test using large machines in brick-and-mortar office buildings, but now they may help a person use a small device for their smartphone. The handshake when they enter the exam room might be replaced by a wave through a monitor before starting the live video feed. The vision test might not even take place in an exam room, but in the person’s home using a portable autorefractor or even their computer’s webcam.

Conducting vision tests using telecommunications affects more than just the technicians. The licensed ophthalmologists who interpret the results don’t have to be physically near the patient either. The method of operations for the eyecare industry was to have the person come into the doctor’s office for their vision test and prescription. But disruptors discovered it is simpler and more resource-efficient to send test results to the licensed ophthalmologist. This especially benefits people who need vision care but are unable to get to an office in person, such as those who have health problems or live in rural areas. In addition to allowing ophthalmologists to see and treat patients more efficiently, they can also provide care to people who would otherwise forgo vision correction altogether.

Customer Service, Public Relations and Social Media 

Disrupting the eyecare industry isn’t just about dealing with high-tech innovations. Because this field is really about providing healthcare, there is a human element to this business that cannot be ignored. Once the optical engineers design the product and the staff technicians assist with vision exams, there is still a customer who needs to purchase a product. That is the reason the individual and the disruptor are interacting in the first place.

The responsibilities of the customer service representative have evolved as well. Before disruptors began creating a foothold in the industry, the customer service role was pretty straightforward. Sit at a desk waiting for a customer to walk in, help them select a pair of glasses, go over the invoice and get their payment information, and send them home to wait for a phone call saying their eyewear is ready. But, for a company that operates entirely online, how is that useful?

It isn’t. Which is how disruptors changed the definition of customer service. In the post-disruption industry, customers need service of a different kind, namely, more educational and information-based to lead them through the new changes.

A vital component which separates these new, innovative companies with the optical industry giants they are disrupting is communication. This element connects companies and consumers in a more influential way than just saying “I bought their product.” Communication allows disruptors to alert eyecare consumers to the behind-the-scenes practices of the industry which serve only to benefit the large corporations, creating a transparency that wasn’t seen in this business before. The consumer can also interact with a company directly in a way that wasn’t even an option before.

The overwhelming popularity of social media combines with disruptors’ needs and desires to communicate with their consumers. The previously semi-related fields of PR manager and marketer have become closely intertwined. Social media managers and social marketers are born from this union.

Running a social media account brings brand awareness, cultivates consumer loyalty through accessibility and positive interactions, and provides an outlet for people to feel heard by the company. Small startups can connect with the public on a more personal level which creates rapport between business and customer.

These positions even incorporate elements of customer service. Assuring unsatisfied customers their complaints were heard and relaying that information back to the business shows consumers, both the one you’re interacting with and potential new ones, that this business is legitimately interested in helping and making changes based on feedback. Fresh startups don’t have a long business history or traditions to cling to which makes them responsive to consumer praise or criticism in a way traditional eyecare industry businesses can’t (or don’t care to) be.

TM is in charge of ensuring Smart Vison Labs customers are always happy - Just one of many jobs in the Optical Industry
TM is in charge of ensuring Smart Vison Labs customers are always happy

Necessary Job Skills

Eyecare industry disruptors bring much-needed change that results in increased convenience and decreased costs to consumers. Yet, the disruption of the former business model also changes the parameters of jobs in this field.

At the forefront is software. Industry disruptors have used the modern advances in technology to change the “default setting” on eye care by upgrading to more efficient and accurate ways of performing everything from vision exams to LASIK surgery. While these improvements are beneficial, those in the field must be ready to adapt to them.

In many ways, the software generated and used by the industry disruptors are at the core of change. Careers in this field now center on the ability to learn new systems. The disruptors also open the door for innovative thinkers who can develop software to address the current goals of this industry. The entire disruption process carries a message that change is here to stay. Careers in eye care will focus on this message through adoption, inventions, and implementation.

Another vital skill for the job seeker in the post-disruption eyecare industry is the ability to communicate. This requirement now extends beyond the simple act of talking to patients in an office setting. Careers in this industry now require people to be able to explain in understandable terms how the technology works for their benefit.

This means that patients need to be introduced to new concepts in a clear way. For instance, Smart Vision Lab’s 5-Minute Vision Exam offers convenience and cost savings. Yet, patients will not fully appreciate the benefit to themselves until it’s explained. Another example is buying eyewear online. Whenever consumers are offered a different way of doing things, there is always a learning process. That’s why communicators are a vital force in the eyecare industry disruption.

Just like the disruptors have a vision for change, so will those working in this industry. Certain skills will be magnified to better enable eye care to attain the goals that will best serve the people they seek to reach.

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Visit VU Frameworks in the TurnStyle underground market and get a Smart Vision Exam in 5 minutes

Shopping, Dining and Vision Exams at TurnStyle

Where can a busy NYer get chic new glasses, an updated prescription, and an artisanal meal in under an hour?

Try looking down.

Visit VU Frameworks in the TurnStyle underground market and get a Smart Vision Exam in 5 minutes

Pop Quiz: You want to get a new pair of stylish, sophisticated and environmentally responsible glasses to show off your new hairstyle when you go out this weekend, but you need to get your eyeglass prescription updated first, and you’ve got to do it all during your lunch hour and still find time to silence the grumbling in your belly.

Answer: Check out VU Frameworks in the ultra-chic TurnStyle underground market below Columbus Circle. Conveniently located in what is arguably one of the easiest locations to get to quickly from anywhere in New York City, VU Frameworks is surrounded by upscale shops selling hand-made stationery, ultra-chic messenger bags, and a variety of tasty delicacies ranging from artisanal donuts and savory French Crepes, to critically acclaimed grilled cheese sandwiches, Bolivian Saltenas, and Taiwanese dumplings.

Not only can you satisfy your hunger for food, but you can also satisfy your hunger for fashion – especially the fashion that sits on your face. VU Frameworks creates eyewear with an Urban Zen style. Even better, every faux wooden frame in their collection is designed to raise awareness of the strains consumerism puts on nature.

Vu Frameworks - Smart Vision Labs partnerAh, you say, but what about updating your prescription? You don’t have time to wait for an appointment with your eye doctor, and you don’t have the time to spend waiting in an office for a separate eye exam. Never fear, VU Frameworks Owner Nai Wang has got you covered there, too.

Nai is all about meeting the needs of her customers, some of the most demanding, most discriminating, high energy and time-challenged working professionals in the world. She recently began offering Smart Vision Labs’ 5-Minute Vision Exam, the revolutionary smartphone-based technology that can get you in and out of her store in less time than it takes you to finish your Espresso Affogato, and give you your new prescription in less than 24 hours thanks to cutting edge optical telemedicine.

Chic and convenient? Environmentally aware, technologically advanced, and fashion forward? Yes, to all of the above.

And you’ll find it all down below Columbus Circle, at VU Frameworks in the TurnStyle underground market.

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International Vision Care Disruptors

Vision Industry Disruptors! International Edition

International Vision Care Disruptors  

Buying glasses should not make you roll your eyes. It also shouldn’t make your eyes widen in disbelief at the price.

Enter the eyecare industry disruptors. These are people who have caught a vision of a better, simpler, and less expensive way to purchase eyewear. They are creating companies to promote their ideas; they are using social media to introduce these ideas; they are making a disruption in the industry that is scattering traditional ways of doing business.

And it’s all for the best of the consumer.

One of the trademarks of the eyecare industry disruptors is the breakdown of geography. By using current technology, consumers are not limited to a place for a vision exam or to purchase eyewear. Smartphones and the Internet open up possibilities that never existed before. Instead of going to an optical store to look at hundreds of frames, consumers can sit at a computer and view thousands of them. Add to that try-on technology in the comfort of home and the traditional business model doesn’t look so good anymore.

Most interesting about the eyecare industry disruptors is the fact that their vision extends worldwide. The viability of any change in a business model can be measured in the level of acceptance across a wide audience. Internationally, these disruptors are making inroads in areas that are diverse in culture, yet common in a desire to affect change in an industry that needs reform.

A look at some of these international industry disruptors will reveal a common thread of placing the purchasing power into the consumer’s hands. These companies offer new business models with some unique ideas. The end result is an industry that will be better able to address the real needs of consumers.

India’s Industry Disruptors

Industry disruptors are problem solvers. To succeed, they need a problem to fix.

The problem is numbers.  For the first time, India is dealing with an aging population as well as a large one. As the country grew, so did the life expectancy. In 2015, the World Health Organization reported India’s life expectancy to be 68 years of age. In the 1990s, it was only 58 years.

This affects all aspects of the eyecare industry from prescriptions, to medical treatment, to corrective eyewear. Change is needed to more efficiently reach the many people who need it.

Consumers deal with a few different vision problems. As people get older, there is a greater likelihood their eyesight will weaken. There has also been an increase in instances of myopia. These people need corrective lenses to maintain their quality of life.

Many unchecked vision problems can progress into vision loss which is indeed what happens here. India has the largest population of blind people in the world. The market even reflects this. The biggest sectors of the eyecare industry here all deal with conditions which relate to blindness: cataracts, retinal disease, and glaucoma.

India’s problem is a lack of doctors to provide preventative vision care. Due to government regulations and insufficient training programs, India has only about one-third of the eye doctors it needs to provide care to all the people. But if the doctors are busy treating patients with glaucoma and cataracts, they just don’t have the time or resources to see the patient who just needs glasses. That patient who didn’t get to see the doctor goes without vision correction until it severely impairs their sight and the cycle continues.

This is the place the disruptors enter the market. Eyecare industry disruptors around the world share one common goal: accessibility to the consumer. They want their product to reach the people and areas left untouched by the largest companies.

Winkk addresses the frustration many people feel when trying to purchase eyeglasses. Only after navigating the frame selection and confusing lens upgrades with the “help” of a pushy employee does the customer learn the price of the eyeglasses.

Winkk - International Vision Care Disruptors

They set out to offer frames that are both trendy and cost-effective. What is Winkk’s contribution to transparency in the eyecare industry? Their eyeglasses have a listed price which includes the prescription lenses. Offering frames that are both affordable and fashionable gives the consumer purchasing power and reduces the number of people going without vision correction due to a confusing sales experience.

Glassic was founded after learning the reason the eyewear market was so confusing and overpriced. Over 80 percent of the market was being controlled by a single supply chain, from manufacture to sale. The founders of Glassic are able to keep their prices reasonable by making their glasses in-house and cutting out the retailer by selling through their own website.

Glassic - International Vision Care Disruptors

A few creative solutions allowed them to overcome the concerns of not being able to see yourself in the frames first and the unclear lens options. A virtual try-on which uses the customer’s webcam creates an experience just like testing frames in-person. Glassic addresses the lens selection issue with a unique algorithm which suggests lenses after the customer selects their power, ensuring the product they buy is their best option. This algorithm also eliminates the navigation of lens types as well as the price variation between different opticians.

Lenskart expands on convenience of shopping for glasses. By offering a vision exam at home, the consumer is not only able to get a lens prescription, but this keeps an optician free to care for a patient with more immediate issues. Certain areas are eligible for a home visit to try on frames. An employee brings 100 frame options and helps the customer with their purchase.

These innovative companies prove the power of a creative idea to change the status quo, create solutions, and assure the consumer that they made a good investment.

Latin America Eyecare Industry

Three factors contributed to the eyecare industry disruption in Latin America: a growing population, a steady increase of people requiring vision correction, and runaway inflationary rate on eyewear. The first two factors seemed to point to a steady volume of consumers, but the rising retail cost of eyewear made them postpone or cancel purchases.

The traditional business model has merely assumed that a steady customer base equals steady sales. While this may be accurate to an extent, consumers have become more cost-savvy and will not purchase a product if they feel their best interests have not been realized.

Eyecare industry disruptors saw this and reacted by offering more cost-effective choices. In Latin America, this was done by two primary methods: acquisitions and partnerships.

For example, Luxottica, the eyewear superpower, increased their distribution by acquiring retailers. Having retail-ready locations for their manufactured products builds a strong competitive edge and gives consumers a network of locations to purchase eyewear.

Partnerships have a similar strategy but balance the power differently. Chilli Beans, the major retailer of sunglasses in Latin America, partnered with GoECart to run the e-commerce side of their business. This type of industry disruption embraces the technology that is available and makes product selection more accessible.

Chilli Beans - International Vision Care Disruptors

Yet, the eyecare industry disruptors in Latin America are not looking to just take over the competition, they are in the business with long-range and innovative goals. Lema21, the “Warby Parker” of Brazil, sells private label frames directly to consumers. They compete with designer brands, which are made in the same Chinese factories as their own products. The difference is a much lower price, averaging about $100.

Lema21 - International Vision Care Disruptors

But Lema21 didn’t stop with the monetary benefit; they added a virtual try-on tool and a home trial that ships four different frames to consumers. Now, people can shop conveniently, have choices, and save money. The industry disruptors listened to the consumers, made changes in the business model, and everyone walks away happy.

European Industry Disruptors

European consumers are welcoming the eyecare industry disruptors. In Germany, consumers are buying glasses online at an increasing rate, while industry experts predict an even bigger growth in this venue of sales.

Industry disruptors are responding to consumer concerns about buying eyewear online: the lack of an optician to provide advice when making a purchase. This can be remedied through a variety of means. Try-on technology and an easier return policy are ways to give consumers more confidence. Social media, blogs, and forums can connect customers to style experts both within and outside of the industry. All of these things contribute to a better buying experience.

Eyecare industry disruptors will concentrate on these issues since most consumers have stated that they are very satisfied with the lower costs of purchasing glasses online. Price is an overriding factor in consumer appeal and industry disruptors will continue to refine the entire process, stressing the personalization of each sale.

In France, Paul Morlet, the founder of Lunettes Pour Tous (Glasses for All), is making a bold claim: get a pair of glasses for 10 euros in 10 minutes. His democratic approach to making glasses both affordable and accessible is shaking up the core of the industry in this country. The basic idea is for consumers to buy glasses and leave with them the same day.

International Vision Care Disruptors

His business model is basic with lower prices, reduced markups, and large volume sales. His marketing strategy includes educating consumers about the high profits opticians enjoy as they sell glasses that are cheaply made in China. Truth-telling is a large part of the eyecare industry disruption strategy since no consumer wants to feel taken advantage of.

Throughout Europe, these same principles are steering the eyewear industry into new ways to do business. Cost, choice, and convenience are the keywords that consumers use, and industry disruptors are providing real solutions in these areas. While each country may have varying measures of progress in the disruption phase, industry experts see a steady increase of consumer confidence in purchasing eyewear online.

Technology and transparency in the eyecare industry is forever changing the view (and the resulting purchasing power) of consumers.

Japanese Eyecare Industry Disruptors

A trademark of industry disruptors is their lack of boundaries, either physical or creative. Japan-based Jins Eyewear perfectly captures this element of being a disruptor. Crossing borders and collaborating with tech, fashion, and business allow this company to make headlines.

Jins Eyewear - International Vision Care Disruptors

Although they were unknown in the US, they operated over 300 stores overseas Japan and China. So why open a flagship store in San Francisco, California? Because the trendy city is a great fit for their brand of eyewear that is fashionable and tech-savvy. Young, progressive cities are like a magnet for industry disruptors because they are full of the kind of adventurous consumers which startups need to succeed.

The technology allowing them to disrupt is Kanna, their in-house eyeglass manufacturing robot. Having a lens lab right in the store means not only are the materials sourced directly from the company, the manufacturing is too. Really embracing the concept of controlling the whole supply chain to keep costs down also results in the fast wait time between selecting and taking home a new pair of glasses. The Jins experience is going home with a pair of glasses for only $120 and 30 minutes of time. In San Francisco. The low cost enables their fashion-savvy consumer to have multiple pairs quickly and inexpensively.

The Jins flagship store has another unique collaboration: a fellow disruptor. 20/20 Now, who offer vision tests through video-conference, rents space in the back of the store. If you add an inexpensive refraction to your trip to Jins, you can still leave your visit with a new prescription and a new pair of glasses for under $200. Again, this is San Francisco.

The Worldview

The most important goal of industry disruptors is creating transparency. Regardless of the problems the eyeglass market faces, information is what leads to solutions. Overpriced eyeglasses and consumers who are kept in the dark about their true cost is a problem worldwide.

Eyecare industry disruptors are creating solutions. The fact that they are all working towards fixing the same problems shows the issues the market faces are due to the distribution model rather than their physical location.

The future of this industry rests in the vision of these disruptors.

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sports vision skills

What are Sports Vision Skills?

What are Sports Vision Skills?

If you think that playing sports only involves running, throwing, tackling, and jumping, then you are missing other key skills every athlete must develop.

Sports vision skills are an integral part of every game. The eyes gather over 60% of information that is sent to the muscular and skeletal systems. Specific visual abilities affect sports performance because they directly impact motor skills. The great news is that just like physical exercise strengthens the body, visual skills can be improved with training.

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball (Maybe Not)

Every coach has said that and every player has tried to do it but focusing on a fast-moving object places a great demand on vision. A baseball hit into right field might seem like a blur but players can improve this visual ability by understanding how focusing works in a sports situation.

via GIPHY

Humans can only focus both eyes on an object within a relatively small space. To get a look at what this means, try the Thumb Rule. Hold your arm straight out with your thumb pointing vertically. The width of your thumb in this position gives you an idea of the size of your visual focus. Now, before you get discouraged and think you will never be able to track a tennis ball or softball that is lobbed your way, be prepared to learn a focusing trick.

While it is difficult for both eyes to focus on a ball that is moving, you can concentrate your vision peripherally. Motion is more easily detected in your peripheral vision field. And the quicker you react to the motion in sports, the better able you will be able to play.

So, instead of intensely focusing on the ball, look to the midpoint. In basketball, for instance, this can mean looking at the area between the ball and the person you are defending. The movement of either the ball or the other player will be detected more quickly and you will be in a better place visually to make the right move.

What’s Your Eye D?

Of course, you all have ID, but Eye D refers to your dominant eye. If you know which eye it is, you can improve the way you play certain sports. That’s because the dominant eye processes and sends information to the brain just a little bit faster and more accurately than the other eye.

Let’s take a quick test. Extend both arms straight out from your body, at about shoulder height. With your thumbs and index fingers, form a small triangle. Pick an object in the distance and center it in the triangle. Close one eye at a time and look at the object. The eye that sees the object centered in the triangle is your dominant eye.

Now, take this information to the playing field. If you are a golfer, line up your next shot so that your dominant eye has a clear view of the ball and the hole. Tilt your head to give that eye an unobstructed look at the path the ball needs to travel.

While a physically fit body is important in sports, remember the role of your eyes. Without their ability to focus and process visual information, athletes would literally be at a loss. Get regular vision exams to keep your eyes at their best. And remember, it’s not only about winning; it’s also about being a better and healthier you.

via GIPHY

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vision industry disruption - Smart Vision Labs

Vision Industry Disruptors!

Eyecare Industry Disruptors in the US

Industry disruptors challenge traditional approaches in decisive ways; their independent thinking removes obstacles and replaces them with optimistic and effective solutions.

Disruptive technology is changing the eyecare industry. Innovations are reshaping the core of this business while restoring consumer confidence. Disruptors have followed a steady progression that has encompassed several key ideas.

Recognizing the need for change within the eyecare industry and coupling that with available technology began the course of disruptive innovations. Three main factors were addressed by the early disruptors: cost, convenience, and accessibility.

Traditionally, eye exams and eyewear had a prohibitive cost for many people. Industry disruptors used technology and innovative product development and procurement to lower the cost and keep the quality.

Convenience is a sought-after commodity in today’s busy world and eyecare industry disruptors made the exams and purchase of glasses and contact lenses easy. Smart Vision Labs, for instance, has a 5-minute vision exam (no appointment necessary) that can determine if corrective eyewear is needed. A prescription is generated and a secure online portal holds the patient’s information. Convenience encourages and motivates consumers and is a hallmark of change that disruptors bring to industries.

Accessibility takes the idea of convenience one step further by bringing eye care to everyone. Rural areas benefit, as well as the house-bound or anyone either physically or mentally unable to go for traditional vision exams. Eyewear can be purchased online and delivered to the door. All of these things make people more inclined to take an active part in their eyes’ health.

Who Are the Vision Industry Disruptors and How Do They Disrupt the Eyecare Industry?

The disruptive companies are creating solutions to long-standing industry problems. Specifically, they have been targeting areas of eye care and eyewear. Creating connections using the Internet rather than in-person introduces opportunities to reach new consumers.

Some of these innovative companies work toward making vision care available for everyone, regardless of their financial situation or physical location. In addition to the Internet, advancements in laser technology and the prevalence of smartphones assist these eyecare industry disruptors in providing another option to the status quo.

Opternative uses a smartphone and computer to offer an at-home vision test. In less than 25 minutes, the consumer gets a signed prescription to shop for their eyewear anywhere they like.

EyeQue’s Personal Vision Tracker uses an optical miniscope which works with a smartphone application to deliver your prescription. In addition to storing the results in the cloud, the app also tracks vision history and has customizable notifications about things from health reminders to current eyewear trends.

EyeQue is an eye care disruptor - Smart Vision Labs

 

Eyenetra offers Blink, an at-home vision test performed by a trained technician. The “Visioneers” collect the person’s health history and use the Blink devices to perform a vision test before sending the results to a licensed optometrist within their network.

eyenetra an eye care disruptor - Smart Vision Labs

PUPIL has a free at-home vision test where the technician will also bring different frames for the consumer to try out. If they find something they like, they will have their glasses that same week.

pupilbundleofficial-120/20 Now uses HD video conferencing to get the client from exam to prescription in 15 minutes or less.

20/20 Now disrupting the eye care industry

PlenOptika created QuickSee, a handheld autorefractor. This innovation came about specifically for places where glasses are very inexpensive but there is a lack of doctors to prescribe them. QuickSee allows doctors to work more efficiently, see more patients, and get them the proper vision correction.

PlenOptika created QuickSee to compete and disrupt the eye care industry - Smart Vision Labs

Smart Vision Labs pushes the boundary of vision care further while setting the standard for convenience. Their 5-Minute Vision Exam uses technology similar to LASIK to create accurate prescriptions quickly. The consumer doesn’t even need to schedule an appointment.

telemedicine for eye-care Smart Vision Labs

Other innovative companies work to disrupt the fashion side of the eyecare industry, which has been forcing unknowing consumers to purchase their vision correction from the established leaders. Glasses and contact lenses are both affected by this problem but disruptors are working to change it. The benefit of affordable and accessible vision testing is diminished if the consumer can’t afford frames or be able to replace their contacts routinely.

1-800 Contacts was the first online retailer offering contact lenses. They have grown into the world’s largest contact lens store. The high volume they work with means they are the most likely to have exactly what the consumer is shopping for and at a low price.

1-800 Contacts are Vision Industry Disruptors

On the eyeglass front, Zenni Optical began by offering low-cost frames and lenses. For under $9, you could get a complete pair of glasses, frames included.

Zenni are Vision Industry Disruptors

Warby Parker disrupted the industry by making new ways to connect with the consumer. Being able to see how frames look, either virtually or through their Home Try-On, invites customers to take an active part in the buying process. These innovations, in addition to connecting through social media, really resonated with their target audience of young adults, proving they are a viable market.

Warby Parker are Vision Industry Disruptors

Eponym provides a venue for smaller fashion companies to break into the eyeglass market.

Eponym are Vision Industry Disruptors

Frameri builds on the online glasses market by trying something new: interchangeable lenses. Their lenses can pop-out of one frame and into another. This encourages people to try out new styles or change up their appearance easily without purchasing another lens.

Frameri are Vision Industry Disruptors

Timing the Disruption

Eyecare industry disruptors know when it’s time to ‘better the business.’ Changes, of any type, are most effective when certain conditions appear.

Information and technology are the two elements that move disruptions from the idea stage to full implementation. Industry disruptors have pinpointed the areas for change and developed a strategy. Yet, to actually bring this innovative thinking into the industry requires the collective consciousness of consumers.

Information begins the disruption.

The eyecare industry has a secret or two. They have been pairing with vision insurance providers and retail eyewear manufacturers. This has created an uneven flow of money. People with vision insurance feel obligated to use that benefit but when they do, they are directed to in-network providers for both the exams and the eyewear.

Smart Vision Labs provides a solution that is disrupting the eyecare industry

The secret is that the consumer has other, more beneficial, options than their coverage suggests. Vision insurance has traditionally created a conduit for the consumer to receive eye exams and corrective products. Eyecare industry disruptors are offering choices that bring the power back to the consumer. This is done by comparing the options.

The insurance-priced versus the direct-priced methods show a significant monetary difference. A consumer paying directly for a vision exam or corrective eyewear can see a price drop of at least 50%.

The price change reflects information that creates transparency in the eyecare industry. When consumers see the actual cost of products and services, the idea of vision insurance does not seem so beneficial. Disruptors have seen the artificial inflation that has permeated this industry and have a plan to bring real options to the consumer.

Technology helps to not only spread this information but it also provides access to exams and products in a cost-effective and convenient way.

Smartphones can be used for vision exams, and cloud-based technology can send and store patient information. Try-on software can make buying frames easier and 3D printing can create custom looks for consumers.

Information paired with technology uncovers secrets and creates solutions. Disruptions give power to the people.

Eyecare industry disruptors see the need for change and offer real solutions.

Where are the Disruptions Taking Place?

That’s the best part about the eyecare industry disruptors—they are making changes everywhere.

The disruptive technology can be accessed from any location. There are no geographic boundaries that limit the spread of information and innovations that are reshaping the eyecare business. Rural communities benefit as well as those in large metropolitan areas. These disruptions are removing geography as a factor in maintaining eye health.

But physical location is only part of the ‘place’ where the disruption is occurring. The mind is another vital location where the industry disruptors are making their presence known. Consumers are getting knowledge about how vision insurance has created an option to maintain eye health at a cost to the very people they seek to help. That cost is monetary but also comes with a loss of personal freedom.

Being directed to certain places for vision exams or to purchase eyewear limits choices. When there is no competition in an industry only a few companies set the price. Consumers know that the price of corrective glasses and frames is very high, yet the actual cost of this product is not.

Eyecare industry disruptors put price and cost in their proper places to benefit the consumers.

When a disruption is taking place in an industry, it will never be business as usual. And that’s a very good thing.

Why Disrupt?

The eyecare industry has maintained a status quo existence for a long time, so why should we welcome these industry disruptors now?

The single word answer would be ‘motivation.’ These eyecare industry disruptors are motivated to change a business that has become stagnant and cost-prohibitive. By embracing and using current technology, the business of eye health can—and should—have a fresh new look. And that will positively impact every consumer.

Disruptive technology is currently in place to address real needs and concerns. Consumers already understand the value of vision exams and using prescription eyewear if needed. However, what they don’t understand is the inconvenience and prohibitive costs associated with this industry.

Eyecare industry disruptors do understand. They have technology in place to bring the vision exam to the patient, whether it’s a rural area or a place that doesn’t require such a stringent time frame. Patients do not want to schedule a vision test around their work or school schedule. Time is valuable to them.

Disruptors believe in transparency in the cost of eyewear which is another huge concern to consumers. Price and cost have not been fully explained to consumers and therefore, the traditional industry method of distribution has favored the manufacturers. Disruptors challenge the current business model and invite the purchasing power of the consumer to come alongside them.

But perhaps the biggest innovation that eyecare industry disruptors bring is the power of choice.

They recognize that change needs to be implemented to address the valid concerns of consumers. They use disruptive technology to create a new industry standard. They form innovative companies that not only herald the change but spearhead the movement.

The result is an improved vision for the eyecare industry and one that is motivated to connect consumers to more affordable ways to care for their eyes.

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What's Your Eyes' Age?

eat to protect your eyes - Smart Vision Labs

What’s Your Eyes’ Age?

Hold off on ordering yet another wrinkle cream because it might be your eyes giving your age away. Some things you’re probably doing every day are actually bad habits that can make your eyes seem older.

There are three main things your eyes react to which create an aging appearance: your health, irritation, and physical damage. These problems can build on each other which emphasize how important your overall health is.

What’s Your Beauty Eye-Q?

Is part of your beauty regimen eating well and drinking enough water? Your eyes benefit from a healthy diet and good hydration, inside and out. Dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, almonds, and eggs all contain key nutrients your eyes need to be functioning optimally. Those things could all even be part of a nice breakfast. When your eyes are working at their best, they’re not straining and creating redness and irritation.

Did you remember to pour a glass of water with your breakfast? You’ve noticed your eyes seem dry after spending a few hours working on a computer for work or after studying for a big exam at school. But one other way you might find yourself rubbing your dry eyes is if you are dehydrated. Stopping work to drink a glass of water gives your eyes a break by allowing them to focus on something else while you rehydrate them. This is especially true if you’ve been doing something that dehydrates your body, say, like drinking a few cups of coffee to stay awake while working.

Beauty Rest

It isn’t called ‘beauty rest’ for nothing. Nothing completes the “I was up all night” ensemble like puffy eyelids above your red eyes and dark circles below them. When you don’t get enough sleep, your blood vessels dilate and become visible through the thin skin under your eyes. ‘Bags’ below your eyes, as well as puffy eyelids, are caused by fluid retention. Both of these can usually be fixed and prevented by making sure you’re getting a good rest at night.

When your eyes are tired, do you rub the lids to make them feel better? That is definitely a bad habit. Tugging on the delicate eye skin creates lines and wrinkles that make you appear older. While some creasing and things like crow’s feet are a normal part of aging, breaking the habit of touching your eyes will keep any extra lines from showing up.

Just Hide It?

protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and filter out the harmful UV raysYou have places to be and things like ‘sleep’ and ‘healthy breakfast’ are not on the to-do list. Your quick fix could be wearing some big designer sunglasses, like the kind that seem to cover half of your face.

Actually, this one is a good idea. Yes, the sunglasses will hide your red eyes and dark circles but they will also protect your skin from sun damage. Since this pair protects against 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays (or else you wouldn’t have bought them), their large lenses block the harmful rays from reaching your skin.

So put your shades on for now. Try to remember to get a good night’s rest when you finish your busy day. It turns out, keeping your eyes looking young and keeping them healthy are the same thing.

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