Ready or Not, Here Comes Technology

Just when you think that technology has hit a plateau, along come advances that are sophisticated in their configuration yet graceful in their implementation. From our vantage point as editors, we’re in the privileged position to see these advances when they’re just developing.

By illustrating some of these new technologies in eyewear as well as in optical retailing, two of Vision Monday’s youngest e-newsletters came to life at Vision Expo West. Eye2 hosted the Eye2 Zone in the center of the exhibit hall with technologies equally at home in a consumer electronics setting as at an optical exhibition, and dba held its first ever dba LIVE event with presentations about technologies that are on the cutting edge of retailing in general, let alone for selling eyewear specifically.

Personal 3D glasses, sport goggles that integrate GPS and statistical displays, and even technologies that enable the blind or visually impaired to see were among the advanced eyewear at the Eye2 Zone. At the dba LIVE presentation, eye tracking, interactive screens both inside and outside the store, digital measurement systems and virtual try-on tools were all presented as ways to enhance the customer’s retail experience. Even Adlens, the dba LIVE sponsor, introduced a breakthrough variable focus lens that is no longer limited to a circular frame but is suitable for “any lens shape, any size, any power.”

Technology is everywhere, and there’s no stopping it. While styles and trends may be cyclical, technology barrels forward on a trajectory that shoots off into the future at an exponential pace.

From our optical media vantage point, we’re not immune to the push of technology either. It wasn’t too long ago that these two e-newsletters would simply have been newsletters sans the “e” . . . printed on paper rather than in cyberspace. Then along came technology, ready or not. ■