Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew edits VMail Technology, a weekly e-newsletter that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at

There are Doctors in the House, and Eye Doctors in the Senate

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 27, 2020 5:45 PM Medical doctors have always been part of American political life, from the founding of our nation to the present day. Many physicians have held public office throughout the years on the local, state and national level. A total of 52 physicians have served in the U.S. Senate to date, according to the official Senate website, Many others have served in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are 18 doctors serving in the 116th Congress, including four who are Senators. This is significant since doctors, particularly those who become lawmakers, can be influential voices in battles over federal health care legislation, one of the most urgent and contentious topics of debate in this election year. Among the 18 doctors who are presently serving in Congress, two of them are eye doctors.

Zeiss Debuts SmartLife, a New Lens Design Technology

By Andrew Karp
Monday, March 16, 2020 2:05 AM SAN DIEGO—Zeiss has created a full portfolio of lenses for on the move, connected wearers. The SmartLife portfolio, which consists of an Individual SV, Digital Lens and four progressives, is optimized using a new design fingerprint, pupil size and a 3D object model to consider our environmental and ergonomic challenges presented by today’s spectacle wearers.

Rockin’ for New Eyes Stalwarts Keep Rollin’

By Andrew Karp
Friday, February 28, 2020 3:48 PM “It was 20 years ago today,” The Beatles sang, recalling the mythic origins of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Rockin’ for New Eyes Band doesn’t have much in common with Pepper’s outfit. But like that storied aggregation, we did, in fact, start playing together about 20 years ago. I remember it clearly. A few of my optical rock ‘n’ roll buddies came to my house for a loose jam. We had a blast, literally and figuratively. Several months later we got together again, this time at a NYC rehearsal studio. These informal music sessions became a regular event after hours at Vision Expos. After 20 years, what is it that keeps the band going? I asked some of the core members of the RFNE Band to answer this question, and here’s what they told me.

Creatures Teach Scientists About Depth Perception

By Andrew Karp
Friday, January 31, 2020 11:05 AM It’s been 66 years since the Creature from the Black Lagoon emerged from its swampy lair and crawled onto big screens of cinemas across the country. Horror movie fans who saw the 3D version of the movie enjoyed the thrilling special effect by looking through anaglyph glasses with one red and one cyan lens that the theater provided. Now, in a sort of role reversal, scientists are outfitting some real creatures—praying mantises and cuttlefish—with tiny 3D glasses. They then showed them images in specially designed “cinemas” and observed their reactions.

Innovative Vision Tech Abounds at CES 2020

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:00 AM LAS VEGAS—Innovative vision technology is becoming more and more visible every year at CES, the annual mega meeting and trade show which drew more than 180,000 attendees here last week. From the latest mixed reality glasses for gamers to a tiny clip-on device that enables blind people to navigate their surrounds more easily, the full scope of vision tech was on display.

Let’s Sing a Song of 20/20… in 2020

By Andrew Karp
Friday, January 3, 2020 12:33 PM Welcome to 2020, The Year of Vision. We’re only four days in, and already countless companies and organizations, both optical and non-optical, have used the happy coincidence between the calendar year and 20/20, the standard measure of visual acuity in the U.S., as a messaging platform. Seeing clearly is clearly a priority for everyone, everywhere. Yet there’s another dimension to 20/20 vision that seems to be overlooked: the connection between visual acuity and lost love.

WHO Report Puts Sharper Focus on Poor Vision

By Andrew Karp
Monday, December 16, 2019 12:00 AM The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent publication of its first-ever World Report on Vision may have slipped by unnoticed by many VM readers. But it’s actually a big deal that’s worthy of our attention. The report’s release indicates that WHO, which usually concentrates on fighting life threatening diseases, has now elevated poor vision to a prominent place on its agenda.

Confessions of an Optical Pack Rat

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 22, 2019 8:00 AM I don’t think of myself as a pack rat. But somehow I’ve managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. My desk drawers and file cabinet, and even some closets at my house contain a curious assortment of promotional giveaway items and swag I’ve received at the countless optical industry meetings and events I’ve attended over the years. I’ve actually gotten rid of a lot of it while preparing for an office move last year. My brass Orcolite coaster went into the trash.

Specialized Optometry

By By Marge Axelrad, Andrew Karp, Mark Tosh and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We are living in an age of specialization. Today we can get virtually anything we want from a business whose only business is delivering a certain type of product or service, whether it’s a vegan restaurant or Victoria’s Secret. Optometry, like many medical professions, is being reshaped by the specialization trend. Modern living has changed the way we use our eyes, and many optometrists, particularly those in private practice, have responded by developing specialties to address specific patient needs. Some specialties, such as pediatrics and low vision, have been long established in optometry, while others, like dry eye management and neuro-optometry are more recent additions. Yet all seem to be benefitting from the advent of new technologies and treatment methods which are bringing exciting changes to vision care.

In a Jazz Frame of Mind

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 25, 2019 7:00 AM Eyewear design has always been influenced by popular music and musicians, and that love affair continues to yield fun and exciting results for eyeglass wearers. Take rock ‘n’ roll, for example. Fans can emulate rockers like Buddy Holly and John Lennon who wore now-iconic frames that evoke not only their music, but an entire era. Brands such as John Varvatos and Chrome Hearts offer rock-inspired looks. And Elton John is synonymous with distinctive, and often outrageously styled glasses.

Smart Money

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The optical lab business, at its most elemental, has always been a numbers game. Running a lab, though, is a complex undertaking that involves more than simply dollars and cents. It also about the number of prescription jobs per day it can produce, and the percentage of those jobs that are rejected because they don’t meet quality control standards. It’s about maintaining a job average that’s calculated based upon production yields and the average price per job. It’s about the cost of capital equipment, consumables, overhead, labor and dozens of other budget line items.

Where Labs Invest

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:29 AM

Investment Trends

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:27 AM

Self-Driving Cars and Moral Decisions

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:00 AM In a recent posting on Robotics Business Review, Giles Kirkland noted that although fully autonomous cars are still only in development, “potential users are starting to think about how an artificial brain will make life and death choices in case of an accident.” 

Kirkland observes that if a collision was about to occur, we only have a split second to react (and rarely make a conscious choice at all). But in case these decisions can be made, people do not have the same opinion. Based on gender, age and professional background, our views on the morality of self-driving cars differ.