Friday, July 24, 2015

Athem Plans to Aquire Cigna

"Anthem (ANTM), a Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer, said it would buy all of Cigna's (CI)shares in a cash and stock transaction," according to a CNN Money post. "The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016, if it passes state regulatory approvals and other requirements. The merged insurer would cover 53 million members." Read more.

Vinalize Makes Sunglasses for Mick Fleetwood from the Fleetwood Mac Rumours Album

"Earlier this year Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac came across Vinylize frames," starts the Midwest Lens post. "He contacted them and requested a customized pair. Vinylize modified the Tosh to fit his nose and gold plated all the stainless steel hardware. The frame is made from the Fleetwood Mac Rumours album which has sold over 40 million copies." Read more.

Bono and Revo to Raise Millions to Improve Sight for the Impoverished

"Bono, who has had problems with his own vision, is partnering with a company to provide better eye care to the underprivileged," reports the News Tribune. "The 'Buy Vision, Give Sight' campaign with eyewear brand Revo is designed to raise $10 million for screening, eyeglasses and other assistance to the impoverished. Revo will donate $10 for each pair of eyeglasses it sells, and the U2 frontman will introduce his own line of Revo sunglasses, which he has been wearing on U2's sold-out tour, in the fall. He called sight a 'human right.'" Read more.

Study Finds Where in the Brain the Images from Two Eyes Unite

Science Daily reports that by "using prisms and an advanced brain scanner, researchers have found the point in the human brain -- very early in image processing in the visual cortex -- in which the transformation to a cyclopean view of the world takes place." In other words, where the brain unites the images from both eyes. Read more.

Eye Drops Could Replace Cataract Surgery

"Eye drops that could replace cataract operations are being developed by doctors," proclaims a post in the (UK) Daily Mail. "Inexpensive to make and easy to administer, the twice-a-day drops could be in widespread use in as little as five years. In tests, they dissolved the clumps of protein that cloud the vision of more than half of pensioners." Read more.

New Kids Eyewear from Mykita

"Mykita First marks the long-awaited debut of a children’s eyewear collection by Mykita," reports Midwest Lens. "Carrying on the distinctive Mykita design aesthetic, First introduces a range of seven unisex models: four optical and three sunglass frames. Specifically designed for children aged eight and older, the frames are sturdy yet ultimately light. All glasses are sealed with a rubber coating, giving the entire frame a robust and scratch-resistant surface. Selected models feature bright temple tips that simply add to the fun. Mykita First sunglasses are fitted with tinted Zeiss lenses that provide maximum glare control, plus 100% protection against UV rays." Read more.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Expands Facility in Jacksonville

"In a visit to the Jacksonville facility today, [Florida] Gov. Rick Scott announced that Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. will expand its contact lens manufacturing plant, touting the 100 new jobs it would create. The Vistakon plant, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision plan, will also add a capital investment of $301 million," according to the Jacksonville Business Journal. "The new manufacturing space will include five new production lines, a tank farm to support new product launches, a 3D printing center and a site for medical device laboratory test method development, expanding its capabilities in the biotech and life sciences sector." Read more.

Bascom Palmer Ranked Best in Ophthalmology

For the 12th consecutive year — and the 14th time overall — Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at UHealth – the University of Miami Health System has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015-2016 Best Hospitals edition. Every year since the rankings began 25 years ago, Bascom Palmer has been ranked either first or second in the country. Read more.

Davis Vision and Visionworks Launch Back-to-School Program

Visionworks and Davis Vision are launching ‘Let’s Go See,’ a cause marketing initiative focused on raising awareness about the importance of children receiving an annual eye exam. Reports from The Center for Health in Schools show that about 60% of students classified as problem learners have some sort of undetected visual problem. Read more.

Autofocus Contact Lenses Worth Billions

Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez has told the Financial Times that the market for an "Autofocus" contact lens could be worth, "anywhere between $10 billion and $50 billion in the next ten years." The Financial Times went on to say; "While Google's efforts building a smart lens with a built-in wireless chip and glucose sensor have grabbed most headlines so far, the really juicy opportunity is in corrective eyewear. If the company can build a contact lens that offers its wearer 'autofocus' powers similar to those found in digital cameras for bringing scenes into tight focus, it can address a range of eye ailments and failings with a single solution, rather than requiring the kinds of fixed prescriptions that we use now, and that are often compromises rather than perfect solutions." For the first time, EPGL is revealing specifically that it has developed technology for an "Autofocus" contact lens with CooperVision, Inc. Read more.

Prevent Blindness Offers Assistance to Parents and Educators Regarding Healthy Eyesight for Children

Healthy eyesight can help improve a child’s chance at success in the classroom, so Prevent Blindness is asking parents to make an appointment for an eye exam for their children. In line, the association declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month. The non-profit group has a variety of resources to help put children on the path to a lifetime of healthy vision:
  • includes free information on a variety of children’s eye health topics including amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), UV-protection and sports safety.
  • Through its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH), PB offers the online School Requirements for Children's Visionmap that provides information about state legislation for vision screening and/or mandated eye exams
  • The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandates that all health insurance include a pediatric vision benefit. In most states, that includes one comprehensive eye exam and one pair of eyeglasses. For more information, Prevent Blindness offers the fact sheet in English or Spanish, “The Affordable Care Act and Your Child's Eyes.”
  • Prevent Blindness partners with programs such as VSP’s “Sight for Students,” “OneSight” from Luxottica, and “Let’s Go See” from Visionworks and Davis Vision, that provide free eye exams and glasses to children who qualify.
  • For educators, Prevent Blindness offers the Star Pupils Eye Health and Safety Curriculum for grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. The program, which is available free for download upon request, provides teachers with interactive materials that help students learn the importance of sight, components of the eye and how we see, and how to identify objects and situations that can be dangerous to eyes. The program meets National Health, National Science and National Physical Education standards and includes lesson plans with presentation PowerPoints and teacher guides, in-class activities and take-home worksheets.
For more information on children’s eye health and safety, the NCCVEH, eye care assistance programs, or the Star Pupils Eye Health and Safety Curriculum, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020.

Aspirin's Benefits Outweigh AMD Risks, Says Study

"Patients can continue to take aspirin as recommended by their primary care physicians without fear of worsening their macular degeneration, researchers say," reports Medscape. "'Taking patients off aspirin can cause premature morbidity and mortality," said Kent Small, MD, from Los Angeles, California. He presented a meta-analysis o' aspirin, cardiovascular disease, and age-related macular degeneration here at the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2015 Annual Meeting. Dr Small explained that he got interested in the topic when he realized that his patients were reacting to reports in the media of studies linking macular degeneration to aspirin use." Read more.

New Mercedes-Benz Eyewear from Rodenstock

"When you think Mercedes-Benz, you probably think of luxury vehicles. What you probably don’t think of are glasses. However, working with German eyewear specialist Rodenstock, Mercedes-Benz has crafted a line of sunglasses and corrective lenses." That's the word from The News Wheel. "According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, the upcoming Autumn/Winter line will feature newly developed materials and shapes. Wood-effect glasses will be introduced in the next wave of Mercedes frames. The glasses integrate a wood-acetate rim with stainless steel arms. The acetate frame ensures that moisture and temperatures do not damage the glasses." Read more.

New Eyewear from Converse Kids

"Designed for the young rebellious mind, the new Converse Kids collection pushes boundaries and provides a blank canvas for creativity. Combining high quality and reliability, the collection has the on-trend tastes and freedom of personal expression that today’s younger generation demands," according to Midwest Lens. "The new Converse Kids collection celebrates the spontaneity of youth with easy-to-wear shapes, energetic colors and irreverent designs. Showcasing premium craftsmanship, each frame is also handmade, and fastened with authentic riveted five to eight barrel hinges. Recently introduced in the Converse All Star adult line, the new Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples for Converse Kids are offered in the K020 style for boys and in the K022 style for girls. Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples can be turned around, revealing a new, fun color that you can show off. A new opportunity for constant self-expression among Converse aficionados, the Twist ‘N’ Turn Temples are relevant in an age where your personal style varies from day-to-day and customization is a must. Young consumers can now change their eyewear on a whim, uniquely making it ‘your own.’" Read more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Struggles with Vision Care

"Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. is one of Jacksonville’s biggest companies, with about 2,000 local employees and annual sales of nearly $3 billion," notes the Jacksonville Daily Record. "But the Jacksonville-based contact lens maker usually registers just a blip on Johnson & Johnson’s quarterly earnings report. However, when the health products giant reported second-quarter earnings last week, a Johnson & Johnson executive took time to discuss Vision Care’s outlook in great detail after several quarters of declining sales. The company continues to lead the global market with its Acuvue brand of contact lenses, but sales in the second quarter dropped by 8.6 percent to $646 million, continuing a downward trend. That was partly due to currency impacts on international sales, but U.S. sales fell 7.3 percent.

“'It’s no secret that we faced capacity and portfolio issues in Vision Care in 2012 and 2013,' Group Worldwide Chairman Sandi Peterson said in Johnson & Johnson’s conference call with analysts last week. 'At the same time, competition intensified and consumer preferences shifted. The market structure has evolved in response, driving increased emphasis on e-commerce and increased price competition between channels,' she said. Because of the market changes, Johnson & Johnson last fall reset its contact lens pricing 'to bring more value to consumers in close partnership with eye care professionals,' Peterson said." Read more.

New Diva Eyewear from Eastern States Eyewear

"Eastern States Eyewear is proud to announce the release of seven new optical styles in its Diva Eyewear collection," reports Midwest Lens. "Five metals and two acetates comprise these new creations. ...Each new Diva features highly detailed work meticulously augmented with Austrian Swarovski Crystals cut in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Within the metal styles, hand painted finishes often complement a variety of subtle colorations. Examples include a brown leopard print, blue, violet, and green which coat a mix of gold and silver bases. Acetate styles use a mix of exotic floral and laminate colors." Read more.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Utah State Attorneys Defend State's Position on UPP of Contact Lenses

"Utah attorneys defending a hotly contested law banning minimum prices for contact lenses argued this week that the state has the right to regulate industry price-fixing even if the products are sold to customers elsewhere," starts the Associated Press post in the San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Any sales by Utah-based retailers are in-state transactions, no matter where the contacts are shipped, the Utah Attorney General's Office said in court documents filed Thursday. State attorneys specifically cite Utah-based 1-800 Contacts, one of the country's largest discount retailers, in their defense of the law.

"Three of the nation's biggest contact-lens manufacturers sued to block the law they say violates interstate commerce rules. Alcon, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb argue it was written to help 1-800 Contacts in a bitter pricing war. The three manufacturers sued to block the law and won a temporary injunction, but a federal appeals court allowed the law to go into effect in June.

"The two sides are set to argue before the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in August." Read more.

Artist Creates Eyewear from E-Waste

"If you’re looking to step your glasses game up to epic new levels this season, Kenya-based artist Cyrus Kabiru is the man to turn to. The Nairobi sculpture artist is known for his ongoing collection of C-Stunners eyewear, upcycled glasses that turn computer waste into wearable art." That's the word from Styleite. Read more.

Kering Launches Eyewear Line

"Kering Eyewear was officially launched on June 30, 2015, in the exquisite setting of Palazzo Grassi in Venice where the ‘Collezione Uno’, including nine of the Group’s brands in Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle, was unveiled," according to Midwest Lens. "The new entity, which is part of the Kering Group, was established in 2014 with the purpose of creating a dedicated eyewear company pooling expertise in design, marketing, production and distribution for the majority of the Group’s brands and becoming the world leader in luxury and high-end Eyewear. The goal of Kering Eyewear is to integrate one of the fastest growing categories within accessories in order to better support the expansion of the Group’s brands in the Eyewear sector, helping them to exploit their full potential. The eyewear collections are now designed and developed in-house and in collaboration with the creative teams of the Kering brands, and with the same attention to craftsmanship and detail as in all other product categories." Read more.

New Skechers Eyewear from Marcolin

"Marcolin USA presents the Skechers Eyewear 2015 Kids collection, which consists of ten new ophthalmic styles, features a youthful blend of refreshing and sporty accents, infused with the DNA of the Skechers brand," reports Midwest Lens. "The collection is perfect for today’s boys and girls driven by brand awareness, the latest trends and in search of bling and fun color combinations." Read more.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby Sees Parents for First Time

"It's an emotion often only shared between optometrist and patient—that thrill of seeing clearly for the very first time. But in baby Piper's case, her first moment of clarity was experienced millions of times," according to an American Optometric Association (AOA). "Thirty million times to be exact. Members can reach out and underscore the importance of infant and early childhood eye exams. Picked up by a CNN Headline News segment on Monday, July 13, the video of 10-month-old Piper's amazed reaction to seeing her parents clearly for the first time had already gone positively viral, taking the message of InfantSEE® and the importance of children's eye exams along with it." Read more. You can see the video at station NWA's home page.

Lily-Rose Depp New Ambassador for Chanel

"In 2015 Lily-Rose Depp attended Chanel runway shows, then modeled in Chanel runway shows, landed her first editorial spread and is starring in her first major film. And as if that wasn’t enough to solidify her title as the most impressive 16-year-old on the planet, she just landed her very first Chanel ad campaign, joining the brand as their latest ambassador," gushes People Style Watch. "And (no surprise) she’s already a total pro. For her first role for the house, Depp’s fronting the Pearl eyewear collection, which includes staring in gorgeous editorial photos (shot by the brand’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld) and an accompanying video (be advised: her Blue Steel is exceptionally fierce). She wears an adorable metallic-finished scalloped button-down and a pair of the pearl-adorned pink round-frame sunnies." Read more.

New Ted Baker Eyewear from Tura

"Tura Inc., the inventor of fashion eyewear in 1938, debuts its Universal Fit Collection from the quintessentially British Ted Baker line, featuring comfort models for Asian women and men customized to their facial structures," according to Midwest Lens. "The eight subtly branded frames, four women’s and four men’s, are made from rich, laminated acetate material. The designs include structured plastic bridges with deeper nose pads. Additionally, two models are offered with adjustable nose pads. A four base curve frame front, proper screw-to-screw width and bowed temples make these models a requirement in any office that serves the Asian community. Colors have been specially developed to compliment the skin tones of the targeted demographic. These special fit features are offered with Ted Baker design and branding." Read more.

New Eyewear from Badgley Mischka

"Feminine style and glamour echo the fluid drapery and beading directly from the runway," notes Midwest Lens. "Badgley Mischka’s exquisite attention to detail is directly translated through the latest eyewear, while featuring highest quality products and design elements." Read more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gwen Stefani Starts Eyewear Line with Tura

"Gwen Stefani is a woman of many talents (obvi), so for her next venture, she's diving into eyewear," writes the Hollywood Reporter. "No stranger to the design world, the musician will launch a new line of optical eyewear and sunglasses for both her L.A.M.B. and GX by Gwen Stefani brands with Tura Inc., the same designers that partnered with Power Stylist Kate Young for her collection." Read more.

De Rigo Vision Signs License Agreement with Nina Ricci and Trussardi

De Rigo Vision and Nina Ricci have signed a licence agreement for the design, production and worldwide distribution of the Nina Ricci-branded optical and sun collection. The De Rigo agreement will become effective in September 2015 with the launch of the first Nina Ricci collection. The distribution will be reserved to the best optical stores and department stores in the world and to Nina Ricci boutiques. Read more.

Women's Wear Daily has reported the De Rigo also signed an agreement with Trussardi.

New Eyewear from Kenneth Cole

"The Kenneth Cole Summer 2015 eyewear collection delivers a wide range of versatile and sophisticated shapes and sizes inspired by the urban lifestyle of the brand," says Midwest Lens. "The collection is stylish, creative and effortless; it is classic yet modern. Shades of translucent colors and rich metal hardware are key trends explored throughout the collection. The tones range from milky color palettes to gradient colorations. The theme of the season’s designs captures the brand’s DNA of day-to-night dressing for real city living." Read more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In Utah, Attorneys Getting Ready to Throw Down about State's Anti-UPP Law

The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that "an appeals court has given Utah state attorneys more time to respond in a lawsuit over a hotly contested law banning minimum prices for contact lenses that could have wide-ranging effects on the $4 billion industry." Read more.

Valeant Buys Unilens for $28 Million

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will own Unilens Vision by Sept. 1, according to an article in the Tampa Time. The Canadian company will pay $28 million for the Lago-based Valeant. Read more.

Friday, July 10, 2015

When You're Looking for Sunglasses Set at a Different Price

"Danish brand Shamballa Jewels is making its entry into eyewear in collaboration with Larry Sands, the eyewear guru behind Chrome Hearts," according to Women's Wear Daily. "The line had hardly hit the Parisian concept store Colette in Paris when Karl Lagerfeld bought a pair of shades and wore them on Tuesday at the Chanel couture show. The line consists of 15 models with prices ranging from 900 to 24,000 euros, or $990 to $26,465 at current exchange, the latter for the 24-karat gold model with two pavé beads and sapphires." Read more.

Trapping a New Approach to Eyewear

"It takes serious commitment and attention to detail, and it only happens when a unique product tells a simple story worth telling. As a marketer, you’re impressed, and as a consumer, you’re ready to take out your wallet. Traps Eyewear is one of those impressive brands that pulls it all together," reports the Biddeford Courier. "The Portland-based startup’s designer eyewear – made with wood from salvaged lobster traps – is a high-market and eco-friendly concept, yet deeply rooted in our state’s cultural identity. No one recognizes the significance of this harmony more than Traps founder John Turner." Read more.

New Eyewear from Elle

"Elle Eyewear’s newest collection reflects the timeless yet pulsating beauty of Paris. The modern and suave frame profiles are sensual, feminine and elegant. The new decor echoes the current runway trend of grids and asymmetric cubist patterns, subtly reflected in the temple details. An extraordinary light material gives Elle’s Eyewear an outstandingly high wearing comfort. Stunning color interplay, translucent fronts blending into solid, pearly or translucent temples, all complemented with refined detailing will catch eyes and turn heads." That's the word from Midwest Lens. Read more.

You See Nanoscale Differences, and You Didn't Even Know It

In a paper published in the Optical Society’s Optica, a research team from the University of Stuttgart and the University of Eastern Finland has harnessed the human eye’s color-sensing strengths to give the eye the ability to distinguish between objects that differ in thickness by no more than a few nanometers — about the thickness of a cell membrane or an individual virus. This ability to go beyond the diffraction limit of the human eye was demonstrated by teaching a small group of volunteers to identify the remarkably subtle color differences in light that has passed through thin films of titanium dioxide under highly controlled and precise lighting conditions, according to the press release.The result was a remarkably consistent series of tests that revealed a hitherto untapped potential, one that rivals sophisticated optics tools that can measure such minute thicknesses, such as ellipsometry.Read more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kering Signs Licensing Agreement with Puma

Puma and Kering Eyewear have signed a licensing agreement for optical frames and sunglasses, effective January 2016. Charmant's Puma license will terminate at that time, according to a company press release. Kering's first Puma collection, Collezione Uno, will be divided into three segments, performance, active and sportstyle, each meeting specific needs. The line will also include eyewear designed for running and golf. The first collection will be presented this month. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Menicon's Managing Director Answers OpticalCEUs Attendees' Questions

At the recent OpticalCEUs Spring Seminar, there was a presentation about the 1-Day Miru lens from Menicon. Originally, Steve Newman, managing director of Menicon Singapore Pte. Ltd., was going to skype answers to attendees questions. International travel plans changed, and he was not available. He asked for attendees to send him their questions. Here are the questions and Newman's responses.

Attendee's Question: Why doesn’t 1-Day Miru have UV inhibitors in it? Will it ever?

Steve Newman: Miru doesn't currently have a UV inhibitor. We originally developed it with the unique Centraform process that incorporates a sophisticated UV curing process. This process assists us in achieving a very high level of lens-to-lens consistency. This is very important in a daily lens where the patient is experiencing a new lens everyday. The use of this UV in the curing process is not currently compatible with UV inhibitors. We are looking into this and may include this in the future.

Attendee's Question: Will 1-Day Miru ever come in colors?

Newman: It is very possible that a future flat pack may include a color-type lens. Limbal enhancement lenses are becoming quite popular, and Menicon currently produces and sells such a lens in Japan. The flat pack is an ideal platform for this type of lens and can showcase it very well via its front foil form.

Attendee's Question: What are your suggestions on how to best present the 1-Day Miru to a patient who is used to wearing other disposables?

Newman: This is a good question. While 1-Day Miru lenses are great for first time lens wearers, I tend to suggest that the experienced patient can also benefit very much by using the flat pack as they are aware of the main frustrations that can be experienced with a standard blister pack, such as lens removal issues and orientation frustrations, and can adapt that much faster to an improved contact lens experience. Once upon a time, ,there were no such things as packaged adhesive bandage strips. One cut gauze and covered it with tape.

Attendee's Question: It was mentioned that there may be toric lenses in development. Can you tell us any specifics about design and parameters?

Newman: The design of the Miru flat-pack toric will be a unique "dynamic stabilization" type with an aberration controlled and prism-free optic zone to ensure optimal vision. Final parameters are being developed now, but it will likely be a 14.50 diameter to aid in stability on the eye.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Implant to Help Regulate Eye Pressure

"Elevated or diminished eye pressure impairs our ability to see, and in the worst cases, can even lead to blindness. Until now, there has been no effective long-term treatment," notes Science Digest. "In response, Fraunhofer researchers are developing an implantable microfluid system that can efficiently and durably stabilize intraocular pressure." Read more.

There's an App for That--Detecting Eye Disease

"Researchers at the Medical and Surgical Center for Retina developed software that detects eye diseases, such as diabetic macular edema, using a smartphone. The system is aimed at general physicians who could detect the condition and refer the patient to a specialist.," according to Science Digest. "The software was developed in collaboration with biomedical engineers from the ITESM and uses the camera of the phone to detect any abnormality in the thickness of the retina. "The idea is to detect and prevent diseases in general practice. We are not replacing the specialist, we want to know which patients have a disease and make an early detection," says Dr. Juan Carlos Altamirano Vallejo, medical director of the Medical and Surgical Center for Retina." Read more.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Goodwin Ophthalmic Science Program Helps Mother of Two to Change Careers

Michele Miller, single mother of two, decided she wanted a new career after a dozen as an oral surgery assistant. She enrolled in Goodwin College’s Ophthalmic Science program. The college's evening program enabled her to work full-time in order to support her family. Meanwhile, the program has already allowed her to get into the ophthalmic field. Even though she has two semesters to go, Miller landed a full-time position in the field. “I was encouraged by my professors, I put my resume out there, and I got the job,” Miller stated in a recent issue of Goodwin ENews. She advocates for the program, noting that individuals thinking about enrolling shouldn't "shy away from the program because of your age. I’ve met students from all walks of life here, and I’ve learned something from everyone. If you have doubts, come visit Goodwin. You’ll understand.” Read more.

Do You See Like a Bat or a Hawk? Find Out

Bored this holiday weekend! A friend of ours was and he found out just how sharp his vision was. You can too!

So do you have the courage to find out if your vision is better than a bat's or as good as a hawk's. It takes only a few seconds at the following site: You don't have to sign up for anything or register. I took the test and see only as well as a dog.

Have fun!

PS: In case you were wondering, this is not approved for use in your shop.

Researchers Develop Smart Eyewear That Assists Those with Motor Disabilities

"A new research project at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) in Bielefeld University focuses on the development of a mobile adaptive assistance system in the form of intelligent glasses that provide unobtrusive and intuitive support in everyday situations," reports Medical News Today. "The technology platform is being provided by eye tracking specialist SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) ( The system will be able to identify problems in actual action processes, to react when mistakes are made, as well as to display situation and context dependent assistance in textual, visual or avatar based formats superimposed on a transparent virtual plane in the users' field of view. The project is called ADAMAAS, which stands for 'Adaptive and Mobile Action Assistance in Daily Living Activities.' The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research is funding the project with 1.2 million Euro." Read more.

Despite Warnings, Eye Injuries from Fireworks Increase

"Thousands of Americans will be preparing to launch fireworks into the sky this weekend to celebrate the nation's birthday on the Fourth of July. However, a new report shows that firework-related injury rates remain high, with eye injuries having more than doubled in the past 3 years," notes Medical News Today. "The report estimates that there were 10,500 firework-related injuries last year. In contrast, there were an estimated firework-related 8,700 injuries in 2012. The report found that a total of 1,300 eye injuries were treated in emergency rooms last year; around 100 more than 2013 and more than double the 600 reported in 2012. It appears that many people may not fully understand the dangers of fireworks. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in San Francisco, only 10% of adults in the US wear eye protection when using fireworks. In contrast, three times this number wear eye protection when participating in other activities such as house cleaning or home repair." Read more.

Here's how USAToday reported the story: "In the past three years, eye injuries caused by fireworks have more than doubled, according to the annual fireworks injury report issued last Friday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Emergency rooms treated 1,300 eye injuries caused by fireworks over a one-month period in 2014 compared to 600 eye injuries over the same time frame in 2011. Firework fragments can shoot outward and hit the eye, causing tears, lacerations and injuries that can ultimately cause blindness, according to Philip R. Rizzuto, an ophthalmologist and clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology." Read more.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Google's Smart Contact Lens Out Soner than Expected?

"It appears Google's smart contact lenses are so far along, the company has already drafted a report on how it would like to package them, reports Tech Times. "There are still about three-and-a-half years left into the soft window in which Google partner Novartis projected the pair would bring smart contact lenses to market. The discovery of a patent application published on Thursday suggests those lenses are well on track to launch within the window. In the patent application (PDF), published on June 25, Google describes packaging for an 'eye-mountable device,' the smart contact lens, that rests on an annular ring at the top of a tiny pedestal." Read more.

New Eyewear from Vanni

"Tangram is an age-old Chinese puzzle made up of a square divided into seven different geometrical shapes, each in one color. The art of the game lies in creating as many complete figures as possible, using combinations of these parts.," according to a Midwest Lens. post. "'A Tangram champion is a champion of talent and wisdom' runs the legend. Vanni's Tangram glasses add a touch of stylish wisdom to the expression. Made from slab acetate devised by the Vanni style center, an exclusive product, the Tangram texture is created by splitting all cubes into irregular pyramids, and then alternated against a deep crystalline background which may be see-through or solid and in one of many color options." Read more.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Computer Model Simulates the Development of an Infant's Visual Cortex after Birth

"When newborn babies open their eyes for the first time, they already possess nerve cells specialized in particular stimuli in the visual cortex of their brains - but these nerve cells are not systematically linked with each other," reports Medical News Today. "How do neural networks that react in a particular way to particular features of a stimulus develop over the course of time? In order to better understand the steps of this development and explain the complicated processes of reorganization they involve, an international team of researchers has now developed a computer model that precisely simulates the biological processes. The results of the study by Prof. Dr. Stefan Rotter, Bernstein Center Freiburg (BCF) and Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools of the University of Freiburg, conducted in cooperation with Dr. Claudia Clopath from the Imperial College London, England, have now been published in the journals PLOS Computational Biology and PLOS ONE." Read more.

Harvard Med Study Uncovers Another Level of Visual Perception

"Scientists have explored the complex puzzle of visual perception with increasing precision, discovering that individual neurons are tuned to detect very specific motions: up, but not down; right, but not left; and in all directions. These same neurons, which live in the brain's middle temporal visual area, are also sensitive to relative depth," notes Medical News Today. "Now a Harvard Medical School team led by Richard Born has uncovered key principles about the way those neurons work, explaining how the brain uses sensory information to guide the decisions that underlie behaviors. Their findings, reported in Neuron, illuminate the nature and origin of the neural signals used to solve perceptual tasks. Based on their previous work, the researchers knew that they could selectively interfere with signals concerning depth, while leaving the signals for direction of motion intact. They wanted to learn what happened next, after the visual information was received and used to make a judgment about the visual stimulus." Read more.

Usually Beneficial Cells in Eye and Brain Accelerate Damage of Eye Disease, Says NEI Study

Spider-like cells inside the brain, spinal cord and eye hunt for invaders, capturing and then devouring them. These cells, called microglia, often play a beneficial role by helping to clear trash and protect the central nervous system against infection. But a new study by researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) shows that they also accelerate damage wrought by blinding eye disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa. Read more.

New Eyewear from Vogue Eyewear

"The sheer is here this season! Vogue Eyewear Crystal Colors Collection celebrates the trend featuring their amazing muses: Adriana Lima, Deepika Padukone and Liu Shishi," accoding to Midwest Lens. "Sun styles inspired by the cool crystalline semi-transparent effects mixed and matched with shiny vivid colors. Super trendy and easy-to-wear shapes available in four solid pop colors for a fresh look. Follow the trend with Crystal Colors, the ideal choice for a Summer In Vogue!" Read more.

New Chloris Eyewear from Morel

"The new release Chloris II features stainless steel fronts highlighted by an acetate brow bar offering a unique, dynamic look to the design of the frame," writes Midwest Lens. "Inspired by the movement made by the tangle of small fibers found at the end of the Chloris grass, this transparent acetate concept is based on the effects of light and depth. With the help of Mazzucchelli, Morel created a material made up of acetate strands, in opaque colors, that are embedded in a translucent colored base. Playful fronts dance with light as the strands echo the movement of Chloris as it sways in a warm breeze." Read more.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Long-Term Effects of Implanted Mini-Telescope Established in Study

"VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc. a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), has announced the publication of 'Long-Term (60-month) Results for the Implantable Miniature Telescope: Efficacy and Safety Outcomes Stratified by Age in Patients with End-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration' in Clinical Ophthalmology," notes Medical News Today. "The 5-year data show substantial retention of gains in visual acuity over time after implantation with the Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz). The study reported that both younger (aged 65 to <75) and older patients (aged 75+) had clinically significant visual acuity gains at 2 years as well as 5 years after telescope implant. Younger patients retained more of the vision gains at five years and experienced somewhat fewer adverse events." Read more.

Benefits of Ophthalmological Exams for Young Children Remain Up in the Air

"It remains unclear whether a special ophthalmological examination of all children younger than 6 years (and potential follow-up treatments) would reduce the frequency and severity of visual impairment (amblyopia) in the population," according to a Medical News Today post. "An update search conducted for a benefit assessment of the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) from 2008 identified no new screening study. No benefit of vision screening in preschool-aged children could be derived from the only new treatment study. This is the finding of a rapid report prepared by IQWiG on behalf of the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and published on 17 June 2015." Read more.

Light-Eyed Individuals Have a Greater Chance of Alcohol Dependence

"People with blue eyes might have a greater chance of becoming alcoholics, according to a unique new study by genetic researchers at the University of Vermont," reports Science Daily. "The work, led by Arvis Sulovari, a doctoral student in cellular, molecular and biological sciences, and Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Dawei Li, Ph.D., is the first to make a direct connection between a person's eye color and alcohol dependence. The results of the research, published in the July issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Part B), suggest the hope of finding the roots of not only alcoholism, but also many other psychiatric illnesses." Read more.

Human Eye Cannot Detect the Reddening of Women's Faces at Ovulation

"Past research shows men find female faces more attractive at peak fertility," notes Science Daily. "A new study shows an increased redness of women's face skin at the most fertile point of ovulatory cycle, but just under the threshold for detectability, ruling out skin coloration as a driver of the attractiveness effect." Read more.

New Helium Eyewear from Match

"When it comes to menswear fashion, much is made of 'sprezzatura' and its distinction among Italian men. The art of sprezzatura, commonly defined as 'a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or create appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it,' relies on attention to detail," goes the Midwest Lens post. "The Helium Men’s collection consists of eight new styles in metal and acetate, all expressing the signature attributes of masterful Italian craftsmanship with simple classic details and refined design elements." Read more.