Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Retrosuperfuture Joins the Rush into Manhattan

“Italian eyewear brand Retrosuperfuture has opened their first flagship at 21 Howard Street,” reports Racked. “This is the sixth stylish optical shop to open in a half mile radius in the last year, joining Germany's Mykita, France's Anne et Valentin, the UK's Culter & Gross, the Internet's Warby Parker, and a Tortoise & Blonde shop-in-shop at Urban Outfitters. Exclusive to the new store is a style called Novanta, which was inspired by the City herself. The sunglasses are all black, from the frames to the lenses to the packaging.” Read more. It also has a great summary of the expansion of optical stores in Manhattan during the past year.

Vuzix Shipping Its Smart Eyewear

Vuzix Corporation will display its M100 smart glasses at the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon, January 6, 2014 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. In early December, Vuzix began shipping M100 units. The Vuzix M100 smart eyewear contains a virtual display with integrated camera and an Android OS that wirelessly connects via Bluetooth or WiFi to your smartphone or other compatible device. The OS can to run standalone and Internet-dependent applications. Read more.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Eyewear from theo

“Again new models have been added to the theo by James range: James 9, James 10 and James 11. The same feature but with different shapes,” says Midwest Lens. “Both the shape of the frames and nosepiece have been cut from the same metal sheet. The nosepiece is then folded backwards. This way, there is no fixture between the glass and nose. Quite literally it’s a design with an edge. Or as they say in Belgium, it’s ‘missing a corner’, which means a little eccentric but in a fun, appealing way. And that suits theo to a T!” Read more.

Diabetics Not Getting Necessary Vision Treatment

“Despite recent advances in prevention and treatment of most vision loss attributed to diabetes, a new study shows that fewer than half of Americans with damage to their eyes from diabetes are aware of the link between the disease and visual impairment, and only six in 10 had their eyes fully examined in the year leading up to the study,” according to Science Daily. “The research, described online on Dec. 19 in JAMA Ophthalmology, also found that nearly half of those with diabetes and eye damage had not visited a clinician charged with managing their disease in that same time period.” Read more.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Scleral CL Wearers Should Take Breaks

"Patients wearing scleral contact lenses who took short breaks every 4 to 5 hours of wearing time had a significantly higher success rate among all diagnosis groups evaluated, according to Ortenberg and colleagues in a study published in Eye & Contact Lens," reports Healio. "The researchers conducted a retrospective review of 105 eyes of patients with keratoconus, 28 eyes of patients with postpenetrating keratoplasty (PK) and 22 eyes with multiple diagnoses, including postradial keratotomy, keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration, PK with aphakia and iatrogenic ectasia, according to the study." Read more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Humans and Shiba Inus Share a Suspectibility Gene for Glaucoma

Researchers from Menicon, Azabu University, and Yokohama City University and found that Shiba Inu dogs and humans share a susceptibility gene for glaucoma. To date, several reports on normal tension glaucoma have been published, thus prompting Menicon to conduct a joint study with Yokohama City University. Menicon paid attention to the fact that the incidence of glaucoma in Shiba Inu dogs was high. Through the cooperation of Azabu University, which stores blood samples of dogs with various diseases, susceptibility genes for glaucoma of dogs were investigated. The results of the study showed that SRBD1, which was also identified in humans, was strongly associated with glaucoma. Read more.

Real World Apps for Google Glass

“You might think of Google Glass as one of those tech creations that’s more intriguing than practical. You might see computerized eyewear as a Silicon Valley nerd fantasy that’s unlikely to change the way the rest of the world works. You would not be alone,” starts the Wired post. “But that’s not how Michael Chagala sees it. Chagala is the director of IT at Sullivan Solar Power, which is slipping Google Glass onto the heads of the field technicians who install its solar panels atop homes and businesses across Southern California. Because every building is unique, these field techs need ready access to all sorts of specs and plans describing the job at hand. In the past, they’ve carried three-ring binders onto the roof, but those are so hard to handle — particularly when the wind is blowing pages. They’ve lugged laptops up there too, but that comes with its own problems, including, well, the sun. So Chagala and company are switching to Glass, allowing their techs to browse documents simply by looking through the eyewear. For the most part, they can do this without using their hands — though you do have to tap the side of the glasses to move from doc to doc.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Prada

“The Prada Eyewear Winter 2013 collection for women is the expression of a controversial feminine personality whose impulsive romanticism is deterred by introversion,” according to Midwest Lens. “Conjuring up memories of the Forties, the collection includes sophisticated models where wide, angular fronts are combined with slender metal temples and sinuous, minimalist lines are a play of generous, geometrical shapes. The color palette ranges from classic black, ivory and cacao to revisited classic tortoiseshell.” Read more.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hand-Held Scanner to Change Screening? Maybe!

Researchers from MIT and the University of Erlangen and Praevium/Thorlabs developed a portable ophthalmic scanner for used in offices of a primary-care physicians, a pediatricians, or even in the developing world. The researchers essentially shrank a table-top optical coherence tomographer (OCT) with the help of a MEMS mirror. The scanner sends infrared light into the eye and onto the retina. The scanner measures the lights' "echoes," tracking changes in the time delay and magnitude of the returning light echoes. Then it creates a cross-sectional tissue structure image of the retina, resembling ultrasound imaging. To deal with the motion instability of a hand-held device, the instrument takes multiple 3-D images at high speeds, scanning a particular volume of the eye many times but with different scanning directions. By using multiple 3-D images of the same part of the retina, the instrument "in effect" corrects distortions resulting from the movement of the operator. It still needs to be evaluated in a clinical setting. One major problem with the scanner: Cost. Read more.

Inkjet Prints Eye Cells

"A group of researchers from the UK have used inkjet printing technology to successfully print cells taken from the eye for the very first time," reports Medical News Today. "The breakthrough, which has been detailed in a paper published in IOP Publishing's journal Biofabrication, could lead to the production of artificial tissue grafts made from the variety of cells found in the human retina and may aid in the search to cure blindness." Read more.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wharton Undergrad Making His Way in the Sunglass Industry

"Daniel Fine, 20, of University City, a junior at Penn's Wharton School, is the founder and CEO of Team Brotherly Love, the Fine Cos. and the Millennial Fund," goes the post on Philly.com. "Last year, he started Glass-U, a sunglass company. Entrepreneurs' Organization named him one of the world's top 30 young entrepreneurs. He plans to launch a firm called Dosed next year." Read more.

Soccer Star Neymar the 2014 Face for Police Eyewear

"Neymar is used to laying down the law in La Liga – and now the Barcelona star is set to become the new face of Police," according to the Daily Mail. "It’s nothing to do with the boys in blue, however, rather the Brazilian ace has been signed up by the Italian eyewear brand and will be their ambassador for 2014. Neymar is following in the footsteps – or lenses – of David Beckham, as well as Hollywood actors Bruce Willis, George Clooney, and Antonio Banderas." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Wiley X

"Wiley X has added bold new styles across its product line, starting with two new members of its innovative Climate Control Series," goes the post on Midwest Lens. "The new WX Arrow and WX Knife combine 'sharp' styling with the visual acuity and protection for which Climate Control models are known. Like all Climate Control glasses, these two new additions feature Wiley X’s patented removable, soft-foam Facial Cavity™ Seal that blocks out wind, dust and unwanted light. This design enhances the wearer’s vision over a wide range of conditions and provides a comfortable, climate-controlled environment for the eyes. Both the WX Arrow and the WX Knife are offered in a range of stylish and functional frame/lens combinations, including special Black Ops editions and versions with Wiley X’s advanced Filter 8 polarized lens technology for driving, boating and other high glare environments. The WX Arrow and WX Knife are also available with Wiley X’s innovative Rx Rim System expanding the Rx range of these frames to +5.00 and -7.00." Read more.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Brokers Selling VSP Plans Directly to Consumers

VSP has authorized independent insurance brokers to sell its individual insurance plans. The brokers will use a VSP website that allows clients to self-enroll. The broker plan provides individuals and families with the same eye care found in the VSP’s employer based plans. Read more.

Maxx Producing Sunglasses for Rockies

Maxx HD Sunglasses agreed on a deal with the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club for the upcoming 2014 baseball season, making Maxx the official sunglasses for the Rockies through the 2016 season. The company also extended its licensing agreement with the MLB, allowing it to produce and distribute its high definition sunglasses with official team colors and logos for all 30 MLB clubs. 

New Eyewear from Alexander Daas

“Rather than design another eyewear collection that looks good in the window but not on the face, eyewear designer and stylist Alexander Daas launched a luxury line that gives people with narrower faces a higher-end selection and aesthetic,” says The Los Angeles Fashion. “A second-generation optician, Daas grew up in the eyewear industry, helping run his family’s optical boutique in San Francisco until he officially took over after graduating college. Over time, Daas said he built up a clientele that came to him for custom designs and alterations because they had smaller faces.” Read more.

New Eyewear from X-ide

“Shifters and Spokes are two new models that feature innovative temples made in silicone, a non-allergic, breathable and biocompatible material that is also very pleasant to the touch. Shifters has a stainless steel front and Spokes is characterized by a front in acetate coated with a special paint that gives the frame a particularly innovative ‘soft touch’ effect,” reports Midwest Lens. “The silicone sheath applied to the temples becomes a tool for experimenting with creativity and personalizing every model. The temple can be turned easily and simply to show a different color and even change its shape.” Read more.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Clippers' Matt Barnes Returns with Reattached Retina

"Matt Barnes, who last played for the Clippers on Nov. 18, was cleared medically and in uniform for Wednesday’s game against New Orleans," reports the Los Angeles Daily News. "Nearly a month after undergoing a procedure to repair a torn retina in his left eye, Barnes was ready to don some protective goggles to get back into a game, though Coach Doc Rivers wasn’t planning on having him in Wednesday’s game. 'Hate ‘em. I don’t like anything on my face,' Barnes said of the goggles, which he’ll have to wear for about two weeks. 'It’ll be something to work through, but anything to get back on the court.'” Read more.

Boy Band One Direction Launches Eyewear Collection

"Members of the superstar boy band One Direction have revealed that they're launching a prescription eyewear collection with Vision Express Opticians," according to a post on Glamour. "The eight-piece capsule collection will feature preppy plastic frames in a variety of colors and is targeted at tweens ages six and up. This is pretty much the first time I've ever been jealous of a tween. Maybe if I try really hard, I can smoosh my face into a pair?" Read more.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Georgia Rules That ODs Are Free to Use Whatever Lab -- Even Under an Insurance Plan

Vision Monday reports that "in a decision that could set a precedent for other states with similar laws, the Georgia Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that Spectera violated Georgia’s Patient Access to Eye Care Act when the managed vision care company required independent providers to use Spectera’s lab network for eyeglasses and/or contact lenses. While the full impact of the court’s Nov. 4, 2013 decision in the case of Spectera, Inc., v. Wilson, et. al. has yet to unfold, some industry observers feel that because there are laws with similar language in other states that it possibly could set a precedent for similar lawsuits elsewhere." Read more.

Wink a Picture with Google Glass

"Google Glass announced updates to the software in its Internet-linked eyewear to allow users to snap pictures by winking," reports Yahoo!News. "The new feature, which promises to escalate privacy concerns already being voiced about the high-tech gadget, came as one of an array of improvements....Notions put forth included Glass wearers someday paying for cab rides by winking at meters or buying something in a shop with a blink. Updates included letting owners lock eyewear so it can't be used unless a person knows the right 'handshake' of swipes and taps." Read more.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chinese Internet Giant Gets into AR Eyewear

"Chinese internet giant Alibaba is jumping onto the wearable tech bandwagon as its chairman Jack Ma reportedly met with Samsung executives for technological support with its upcoming smart eyeglasses project during a trip to South Korea last week, reports Shanghai's China Business News. An Alibaba spokesman told the paper that Ma had indeed paid a visit to South Korea, but refused to reveal the purpose of his stay." That's the start of a story on Want China Times. "Insiders claim that Ma sought strategic investors for Alibaba's latest smart eyewear project, including Samsung, Korean Telecom and software firm Naver. The potential of wearable smart devices is comparable to mobile internet, attracting the participation of many hi-tech giants, including Alibaba, the insider said, adding that the smart wearable device project can greatly boost Alibaba's IPO price." Read more.

New Eyewear from Vera Bradley

"Winter means family and holiday parties galore! Combining modern style and Vera Bradley’s newest colors, Lydia debuts as the perfect festive frame for the holidays," reports Midwest Lens. "Lydia is a semi-rimless combination frame, offering a petite fit that is also perfect for progressives. The sweet rectangle eyeshape is paired with a curved endpiece featuring two-tone metal décor with a raised floral pattern and enamel filling. Vera Bradley’s Bittersweet and Olivia Pink are featured on the interior temples, while spring hinges and adjustable nose pads offer a comfortable, sure fit." Read more.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Patients Say Cutting-Edge Physician; Feds Say Medicare Fraud

"As a child, Oscar Haza almost lost his left eye in a bike accident in the Dominican Republic. As an adult, he began losing vision in the same eye from retina damage," reports the Miami Herald. "But today, the Miami journalist is able to host TV and radio news shows, thanks to Lucentis, an injectable drug that has helped combat his macular degeneration. Haza considers the ophthalmologist who regularly sticks a needle into his left eye — Salomon Melgen — a miracle worker.'He’s not a conservative eye doctor,' said the 61-year-old Haza. 'He’s always been on the cutting edge.' That’s not exactly how the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services view the West Palm Beach ophthalmologist. Melgen, 59, has been under a federal grand jury investigation for alleged Medicare fraud for more than a year." Read more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Zeiss Opens Vision Research Lab at University of Tubingen

“The Zeiss Vision Science Lab opened on Thursday is an additional "Industry on Campus" workgroup at the University of Tübingen. As part of the Excellence Initiative, new collaborative projects with industry are being launched here at the interface between basic research and application orientation,” reports Glass on the Web. "Together with the University of Tübingen, Zeiss is now founding a research laboratory that will investigate this complex interaction. The goal of the Zeiss Vision Science Lab is to gain an understanding of the development of vision, of the interaction of light with the eye and the eyeglass lens, and of the processing of the image in the brain in many different and dynamic situations and, on this basis, to develop new ways of providing natural, optimized vision to each individual wearer. Another item on its agenda is to research into the development of vision and into pathological changes to perception in order to enable their diagnosis by using suitable measuring methods at an early stage. For these patients, this could result in personalized solutions for enhanced vision.” Read more.

Ex-Manchester Striker Pops In Blue CLs

“Mario Balotelli showed he's still got eyes for the Blues despite leaving the Etihad Stadium nearly a year ago,” according to the Manchester Evening News. “The Italian striker, who left City for Milan in January, tweeted a series of pictures of himself sporting blue contact lenses. With the caption 'what do you think? Ahahah', the star's 1.6m followers were treated to four pictures of the 23-year-old with bright blue eyes.” Read more.

Stroboscopic Eyewear Helps Pro Hockey Players

“Professional hockey players who trained with special eyewear that only allowed them to see action intermittently showed significant improvement in practice drills, according to a Duke University study with the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes,” reports Duke Today. “The eyewear features lenses that switch between transparent and opaque, producing stroboscopic visual conditions, much like a strobe light in your favorite dance club. Earlier research using the stroboscopic eyewear during training showed improved vision, visual attention, and ability to anticipate the timing of moving items. But the small pilot study with Hurricanes players is the first to directly explore whether those effects can improve sports performance. The study appears online in the November-December issue of Athletic Training & Sports Health Care. http://bit.ly/18o1DPE.” Read mnore.

Olympic Swimmer to Model for Emporior Armani

“Coming soon to a billboard near you (if you happen to live in Italy, that is): Italian swimmer Luca Dotto, runner-up in the 50-metres freestyle at the 2011 World Championship in Shanghai, posing in underwear and eyewear for the latest Emporior Armani campaign,” notes StyleBristo. “Dotto has just been announced as the spokesmodel for Emporio Armani Underwear and Emporio Armani Eyewear for autumn/winter 2013/14 and spring/summer 2014.” Read more.

New Sunglasses from Wiley X

“The Alternative Fit Collection [from Wiley X] is designed to provide a comfortable and secure fit to riders who, in the past, were limited to ‘one-size fits all’ solutions when it came to protecting their eyes,” writes Midwest Lens. “The experts at Wiley X recognize that proper fit is the first step in proper protection, and set out to develop glasses for specific head shapes, sizes and facial structures. In particular, riders who trace their roots to Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East often have differing head shapes and facial angles. The Alternative Fit Collection provides a better fit than universal fit eyewear, and this translates to improved comfort, enhanced vision and, most importantly, maximum eye protection on the open road. In addition to providing superior fit and protection, each of these new eyewear pieces are also Rx-Ready, making them an ideal solution for riders who require prescription lenses.” Read more.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Why Do Most Astronauts Return with Eye Problems?

"Those who travel to space are rewarded with a beautiful sight--planet Earth. But the effects of space travel on the human sense of sight aren't so beautiful," reports Medical News Today. "More than 30 percent of astronauts who returned from two-week space shuttle missions and 60 percent who spent six months aboard the International Space Station were diagnosed with eye problems. Two recent investigations examined mechanisms that may explain eye changes in spaceflight, help find ways to minimize this health risk to astronauts and eventually prevent and treat eye diseases on Earth." Read more.

Overstock Jumps into Rx Eyewear with Coastal

Your customers now can buy prescription brand-name eyewear and sunglasses on Overstock.com. Once they select a frame, they use a three-step tool to enter prescriptions, choose lens types, and select lens options. The eyeglass component of the site is made possible through its optical partner Canadian-based Coastal.com. Shipping is free for orders of $50 or more. Shipping on orders less than $50 is only $2.95. Overstock also offers customer-loyalty programs. Read more.

Proof and Saga Team Up

"Charging into the 2013/2014 winter season Proof Eyewear announces a partnership with their good friends at Saga Outerwear," according to a post on Midwest Lens. "Saga is one of the most genuine and well respected proprietors of high-end outerwear in the industry and Proof is the leader in cutting edge sustainable eyewear. Together they were able to design and produce a limited one-time run of unique sunglasses combining next level aesthetics with unmatched attention to detail and quality. For this limited release they are offering two distinct frame colors based upon their time tested Ontario ECO (Environmentally Conscious Optics) Frame. A bold matte black frame with polarized fire mirror lenses and a sophisticated brown tortoise frame featuring polarized grey lenses." Read more.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

National Vision--Princess of the Ball in a Potentially $1 B Auction

"KKR & Co LP and Carlyle Group LP are competing for National Vision Inc, the fourth-largest U.S. retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses, in an auction that could fetch up to $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said this week," reports Reuters. "The two private equity firms are among those making it past the first round of an auction for National Vision, the people said. Meetings with the company's management are currently under way, before solicitation of final offers, they added. The Lawrenceville, Georgia-based company, which is owned by private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC, is working with Barclays Plc on the sale process, people familiar with the matter have previously told Reuters." Read more.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Factors Causing CL Discomfort

"Researchers found that excessive lens movement, inferior lens decentration, poor surface wettability and deposits, inferior corneal staining and Asian ethnicity were associated with discomfort and dryness in silicone hydrogel wearers," notes Healio. "Truong and colleagues, in a study published in Optometry and Vision Science, evaluated 4,164 records of 220 subjects wearing comfilcon A or enfilcon A silicone hydrogel contact lenses in 46 different studies. Lens fit and performance and subjective comfort and dryness were assessed at insertion and after 3 and 6 hours of wear, the study abstract said." Read more.

EyeMed Expands Sponsorship in OneSight's Van Program

EyeMed Vision Care has expanded its role OneSight's 2014 Vision Van Program as a presenting sponsor. The 2014 Vision Van program will provide free vision care and eyewear to thousands of students across 15 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin, according to a company spokesperson. Students will receive comprehensive eye exams onboard EyeLeen, OneSight's mobile vision center. The van is equipped with two exam lanes staffed by doctors, opticians, and lab technicians volunteering from LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical or other local providers. Local EyeMed associates, clients, and partners also volunteer to support clinic operations. Most prescriptions will be filled onboard EyeLeen. Read more.

AR Eyewear Working with Frames or As Monocle

Vuzix Corporation has released what it calls a Waveguide optics engine on its Vuzix M2000AR HMD that enables smart eyewear technology to fit into standard glasses frames. The engine, developed by Noika, moves light within smart glasses. Vuzix notes that the engine is smaller and lighter than conventional prism-based optics used in competing smart devices. It also delivers a wide field of vision. It uses a 1.4mm thin "window" (operating similar to a fiber optic) with a tiny input pupil that is expanded using a hologram in front of the eye. Light is not bent through bulk material as in conventional optics.

Its display  has four times as many pixels as do Google Glasses, according to Quartz. The technology was originally developed by Nokia and licensed to Vuzix.  Vuzix integrated it with its own waveguide technology and developed other improvements for its release into Vuzix products. Read more.

Google Glass 'Too Primitive' to Work Now. As for Tomorrow...

"Google Glass is like the Apple Newton, the influential but famously premature mobile organizer, according to the high-profile investor Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures," reports CNET. "Speaking at the LeWeb conference here on Tuesday, Wilson said he believes the technology eventually will catch on, but likely built more unobtrusively into regular glasses. For now, he indicated, it's too primitive and awkward." Read more.

New Eyewear from Ogi

"The Ogi Evo-Tec Collection utilizes mixed materials in an advanced way, achieving innovation at the forefront of technology," reports Midwest Lens. "The Seraphin lightweight styles are structured with a stainless steel core enveloped in luxurious Italian acetate, exemplifying originality by infusing classic, vintage shapes with modern materials. Utilizing quality custom hinges, working rivets and a double-laminated steel core, Ogi blends sexiness with sophistication at unparalleled affordability. By emphasizing innovation, originality, quality and value, Ogi has been able to expand its demographic around the globe and gain worldwide recognition." Read more.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

FGX Buys Suntech

FGX International, a subsidiary of Essilor International, acquired the 41-year-old Suntech Optics Inc. The acquisition included the purchase of Naked Eye Enterprises and Bugaboos Eyewear. Suntech, a formerly privately held company in Vancouver, sells Infokus and Solair brands of sunglasses and reading glasses to more than 2800 Canadian retailers in the drug, grocery and mass channels of distribution. Bugaboos Eyewear owns and designs Ryders Eyewear,  currently serving over 1800 retailer locations in North America, South America and Europe. FGX International’s eyewear brands include Foster Grant, Gargoyles, Solar Shield, Magnivision, Corinne McCormack and Anarchy and licensed brands including Ironman, Dockers, Nine West, Body Glove and Disney.

New Eyewear from Marciano

"The Marciano Eyewear Spring 2014 collection, consisting of three new optical and six new sunglasses styles, combines finely crafted materials and luxurious styling creating chic and refined silhouettes," says Midwest Lens. "Abstract elements are seen in the collection’s handcrafted acetates adorned with exquisite Swarovski crystal detailing, while dual-toned metals and sleek designs express a simple elegance. The MARCIANO woman strikes the perfect balance with eyewear that elevates her wardrobe, as well as accentuates her confident lifestyle." Read more.

Modular Sunglasses Give Customers Options

Nuke Opticsr eyewear design called Venom. Built around a screwless hinge, the modular system will allow for interchangeability and cross compatibility between lenses, frames, and temples, regardless of shape, size, design, color or application. With this patent pending concept, viewers could create their own style of sunglasses and to see how they looked like prior to purchase. The modular system features five different frames (v2, v4, v41, v6, and v8), four types of lenses and three different temples (v, turbo, and samurai). Read more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

CLs to Deliver Glaucoma Med

Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology, Boston Children's Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have moved closer to developing a drug-eluting contact lens designed for prolonged delivery of latanoprost, commonly used to treat glaucoma. Using FDA-approved materials, the researchers created the CLs by encapsulating latanoprost-polymer films in hydrogel. Their findings are described online and will be in the January 2014 printed issue of Biomaterials. Read the NIH abstract. Read a PDF version of the study at Science Direct.

Only a day ago, researchers announced that they had mapped the molecular underpinnings of glaucoma. Read the blog post.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meeting Mandela at the ODs

“I was sitting at the Optometrist waiting for my first pair of glasses and the receptionist said if you wait around a bit longer you will meet the president,” according to News24 based in Capetown, South Africa. “I stupidly said ‘which President.’ Of course she looked at me in horror and said ‘Nelson Mandela who else?’ I was so embarrassed. Never the less I hung around and low and behold a bunch of body guards walked in followed by our president. He chose to sit right next to me and he took my hand and asked me what my name was, what I did, how old I was and general chit-chat.” Read more.

Sneak Peak at Google Glass's Prescription Version

“Wearers of traditional eyeglasses got an early holiday treat this week when a Google employee leaked photos of what appear to be the prescription version of Google Glass,” reports Mashable. “Reportedly posted on the Google+ page of Brian Matiash, community manager for Google+ Photos, on Thursday, the images showing the modified version of Glass were quickly removed without explanation. Phandroid managed to capture the photos before they were taken down. The new version of the wearable computing device (not pictured above) looks a lot like the current version, except it does away with the steel band completely, allowing the wearer to place their traditional eyeglasses in what appears to be a cradle within the body of Google Glass. It's unclear whether or not the cradle shown in the photos could house any pair of traditional eyeglasses; however, such a design seems unlikely given that eyeglass arms vary in width, and may not fit into the cradle.” Read more.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Molecular Mechanism for Cataracts Mapped

"A team of chemists from the US and Germany has mapped a molecular mechanism that underpins the formation of cataracts - the world's leading cause of blindness, affecting nearly 20 million people, reports Medical News Today. "The scientists hope their groundbreaking discovery will lead to treatments that could help prevent the condition." Read more.

Pupils Adjust at Imagined Changes in Light

"It is common knowledge that our pupils adjust in size when exposed to light or dark enviornments," according to Medical News Today. "But new research published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the size of our pupils also changes when we imagine these surroundings, even when our eyes are not directly exposed to light and dark."" Read more.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Essilor, VSP, Younger, and Indizen End Free-Form Progessives Lawsuit

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Essilor, VSP, Younger Optics, and Indizen Optical Technologies have settled their free-form progressive lawsuit. “A patent infringement case was filed by Essilor against VSP Optical Group on Feb 22, 2013 in the Texas Eastern District Court for infringing eyeglass lenses used to correct presbyopia and other disorders of accommodation. The other named defendants in this case were: Indizen Optical Technologies…and Younger Optics,” reports IPInsiders. “The patent involved in the suit is US6149271…The patent is currently assigned to Essilor International …The '271 patent claims progressive addition lenses and processes for making progressive addition lenses. The complaint alleged that Indizen Optical Technologies develops a lens design software [and that] IOT Futura and Younger Optics provides semi-finished lenses, both of which help in producing finished lenses manufactured by VSP, UNITY PLxpression lenses that infringe the '271 Patent. The complaint states that Indizen Optical Technologies and Younger Optics encouraged VSP to make such infringing lenses. …On Nov 13, Essilor filed stipulation of dismissal pursuant to which the Court ordered all the claims and counterclaims in this action to be dismissed with prejudice with each party bearing its own attorneys’ fees and costs.” Read more.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

U.S. Eyewear Market to Reach $130 Billion

According to the report Eyewear Market (Spectacles, Contact Lenses, Plano Sunglasses) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth and Forecast, 2012 - 2018, demand for eyewear topped 2,600 million units in 2011, and it should  expand at a CAGR of 3.7% between 2012 and 2018. In terms of revenue, the $81 billion market of 2011 could expand to $130 billion by 2018. The report, published by Transparency Market Research, notes that a high degree of market penetration accounts for burgeoning demand. The increasing number of individuals requiring prescription eyewear also is driving growth. The acceptance of corrective or refractive surgeries, however, could inhibit short-term market growth. Read more.

Marcolin Finalizes Purchase of Viva

Through its U.S. affiliate and HVHC Inc., Marcolin SpA completed its purchase of Viva International. The deal creates a company that conceivably could sell more than 14 million units annually. Marcolin will bring its expertise in handcrafted eyewear, its focused management style and its strong financial background to Viva. Viva, already well established, is the second largest eyewear company in the Americas and the world's ninth largest. Last year Viva sold 8.5 million units, generating $190 million. Its brands include Guess, Guess by Marciano, Gant, and Harley Davidson. Marcolin comes to the party having sold about 5.5 million eyeglasses. It licenses such brands as Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, Tod's, Swarovski, DSquared2, Diesel, 55DSL, Just Cavalli, Cover Girl, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, and Timberland, giving it  more than 700 models. Read more.

B+L to Manufacture Zeus CLs Stateside

"State and federal leaders praised a decision by Bausch + Lomb Inc. to manufacture a new line of contact lenses in Rochester, " says the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. "In joint announcements Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Valeant Pharmaceuticals International reversed an earlier decision to manufacture B+L's Zeus silicon hydrogel monthly contact lens line in Ireland....The deal comes just months after B+L was bought by Valeant, a Canadian firm, and announced it would lay off 400 workers locally. It also moved the company headquarters from Rochester to New Jersey. According to Cuomo's office, the deal reached with B+L includes a $5.8 million grant from Empire State Development and up to $6.2 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program....B+L will install two new manufacturing lines to produce the Zeus lenses, tripling its contact lens manufacturing business here, according to the governor's news release. The company previously had built a pilot line in Rochester that it intended to replicate overseas. The new contact lens received FDA approval earlier in the fall and is expected to be available commercially next year." Read more.

New Eyewear from Viva's Harley-Davidson Collection

"Viva International Group introduces six new men’s and two new women’s ophthalmic frames to the Harley-Davidson Eyewear Spring 2014 collection. Inspired by the iconic styling found in the brand’s esteemed motorcycles, this new offering includes high-quality materials such as TR-90 and handcrafted acetate with a range of colorations and intricate details ideal for the active lifestyle of the Harley-Davidson enthusiast," according to Midwest Lens. "Classic design and matte finishes are showcased in the streamlined styling of HD 496, HD 497 and HD 498. Inspired by the Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle family, these key styles boast sheer presence and endurance. Comprised of TR-90, this trio conveys a sleek look while providing lightweight comfort and durability. These styles feature rectangular fronts available in matte colorations, including black, brown, navy and grey." Read more.

Cate Blanchett Named Silouette's Eyewear Ambassador

"Following in the footsteps of a list of iconic actressess, Cate Blanchett has struck a surprise partnership by signing on as the ambassador for an eyewear brand," reports Sydney's The Telegraph. "The company unveiled new poster images by legendary photographer Peter Lindburgh for Silouette. Looking ice cool and glamorous in the photos, Blanchett cuts a chic silhouette in frameless spectacles from the brand's new Icon for an Icon campaign, called Titan Minimal Art. Silouette approached Blanchett believing she represented their brand perfectly and would help it reposition itself as "elegant, sophitiocated, subtle." Read more.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An Alternative to the Snellen Vision Screening at Schools

An exam using the Snellen eye chart can fail to identify students with vision problems. That does need to be the case, according to a study called "The Need to Modernize Vision-Screening Practices in Schools," presented as an abstract at the recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. The study involved a charitable event that took place in 2012 held by Transitions Optical and its partner VSP Vision Care at a Florida elementary school. Some 537 students with parental permissions received a vision screening. Using the visioni screener called Spot—a 2.5-pound handheld device—examiners screened students in all grades within five hours. The exams revealed 93 children with potential vision issues. They were referred to a mobile eye clinic or an eye care provider for follow-up eye care. Read more.

Eye Movements Help Drivers Navigate Curves

"All drivers know from personal experience that they must keep their eyes on the road when driving through curves," notes Science Daily. "But how exactly does looking at the road guide the car through the curve? Cognitive scientist Otto Lappi's dissertation at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Behavioral Sciences reveals new crucial aspects of eye movements in curve driving." Read more.

Superior Vision Muscles Up with Block

Superior Vision Services Superior Vision and Block Vision have received final approval to merge the two companies. With distinct yet complementary lines of business across commercial and government sectors, Medicare and Medicaid markets, health plan partnerships, and medical-surgical eye care programs, the company claims that it will capitalize on efficiencies that will result from the merger. The merged company will cover more than 8.5 million members nationwide, with a provider network surpassing 55,000 access points. For more information about Superior Vision and Block Vision, please visit http://www.superiorvision.com and http://www.blockvision.com.

Vintage Releases New Video with Trinidad James

"Continuing in their ongoing video series chronicling the history of eyewear in hip hop, The Vintage Frames Company sits down with Atlanta-based emcee Trinidad James," reports Stupid Dope. "The youngest artist to be featured among the likes of Talib Kweli, Questlove and DJ Jazzy Jeff, James has grown rapidly within the fashion scene due to his avant-garde style and, of course, his eyewear choices. He talks with the brand about his first pair of sunglasses, the perspective he developed in his early days in Trinidad, and how style moves in phases." Read more.

New Eyewear Sees the Microscopic World

Micro Eyewear has procured a patent pending and initiated contact with NASA and other governmental agencies, in an effort to develop its new microscopic "seeing" eyewear. The first generation prototypes are expected to be developed within the coming year and estimates show budgeting to be under $250,000. Many jobs require the ability to see minute particles. Researchers who work in laboratories dealing with drugs and toxicology, fingerprinting and DNA profiling require the power of magnification. Physicians, scientists, governmental personnel, and business professionals, will find the ability to see the tiniest particles useful. The company reportedly will implement three phases to achieve its goal. The first is to develop the first generation product samples. It will do so by seeking cooperation from the military, NASA and various governmental agencies that already have the innovative technologies necessary to help create Micro Eyewear's line of glasses and goggles. Next, the eyewear will be adapted based on need and application. Portable labs, micro kits, and micro wear will be created to fit the job requirement. Finally, the microscopic vision products will be sold to consumers reaching the public much like the computer and mobile phone. Read more.

New Eyewear from Gant

"The Gant Spring 2014 optical collection presents modern wearable silhouettes that pair perfectly with the lifestyle of today’s Gant man and woman," says Midwest Lens. "The optical collection finds its inspiration from the relaxed and effortless styling of the brand’s signature collections, highlighted by vintage-inspired motifs and two-tone colorations. The Gant Eyewear collection for men presents three new styles this January, including the timeless design of models G Asher, G Parker and G Stellan. Sleek metal temples display a tone-on-tone accent delivered in a satin finish on all three models. The full metal rectangular front of model G Asher and semi-rimless softened rectangular front of model G Parker ddisplay the frame’s deep metallic tone. Model G Stellan sports a rectangular front handcrafted in acetate in rich colors of black, brown/horn and tortoise." Read more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Owner of Vision Clinic Arrested on Fraud

“The owner of a Jackson [Mississippi] eye clinic is facing charges of Medicaid fraud, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today,” according to WJTV. “Barbara Faye Jones, 30, of Jackson, turned herself into authorities with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Tuesday following recent indictment by a Hinds County grand jury. The indictment alleges that Jones, as owner/operator of Clear View Vision Care, did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make, present and cause to be made and presented false, fictitious and fraudulent claims for more than $28,000 in Medicaid benefits, knowing the claims to be false, fictitious and fraudulent.” Read more.

Researchers Model Optogenetic Vision

“For a few years now, optogenetics has been seen as a very promising therapy for progressive blindness, for example when it is a result of retinal degeneration,” notes Science Daily. “In order to further develop this therapeutic approach, Marion Mutter and project leader Dr. Thomas Münch of the Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) at the University of Tübingen have developed a computer model that simulates optogenetic vision. The research has been published in the November 27 issue of PLOS ONE.” Read more.