The modern optical dispensary is where the line between physical and virtual becomes truly invisible. Equipped with only a digital tablet and a specialized app or software program, opticians can now take highly accurate patient measurements, demonstrate the performance characteristics of various lenses and offer virtual frame try-ons. This powerful digital technology is making the eyewear purchasing experience easier and more accessible than ever for dispensers and patients, while providing social distancing necessary to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Patient-Pleasing Technology Increases Return Visits
ACEP Group is a French company that has developed an array of products that eyecare professionals, optical retail chains and lens manufacturers use to wow their customers with the latest virtual try-on, measuring and vision testing technology. As company founder, CEO and president Jean Philippe Sayag told VM’s Andrew Karp, “ACEP is an acronym for a French word, but could be translated into English as: A (Application), C (Creative), E (Eye-care), P (Professional) or Creative Applications for Eyecare Professionals.”
ACEP sells its products in the U.S. and Canada through a wholly-owned subsidiary, ABS, Inc., in Miami. Fla.-based company is headed by Fabian Bruneau.
“Today, the customer uses the near vision more often than before because of smartphones and tablets,” Sayag observed. “We look at our phone 200 times per day… so you need to be able to see your smartphone instantly. That is why we are using a smartphone or a tablet to analyze your eyes’ movements when you look at your smartphone. This is one of our patents, and that is the only tool to select the best progressive lenses for your customers. The customer is so impressed by this experience that he will come back to the same ECP to get the next pair.”
One of ACEP’s most popular products is the Smart Mirror frame selector. Smart Mirror is designed to make the eyewear selection process exciting, easy, and fun, according to ACEP. One of its major benefits is that it helps patients, including high myopes or those with dilated eyes, see themselves for the first time in their eyewear choice.
The company’s Smart Mirror Mobile is billed as “the most complete iPad solution” for dispensers. Photos of the end-user trying on new frames are displayed in full screen or split screen to help the comparison. The frame selection only takes a few seconds. Thanks to augmented reality simulations, spectacle wearers can finally see the performances of their new lenses. High quality simulations are extremely realistic and allow patients to experience the advantages.
All the measurements required for manufacturing custom-made lenses are available on Smart Mirror Mobile App, including PD, fitting height, pantoscopic tilt, wrap, vertex distance, reading distance and best corridor length detection. The measurement is easy, quick and accurate. Measurements can be sent digitally. The iPad solution allows the optician to offer presbyopic customers progressive lenses perfectly adapted to their needs in near vision, the company said.
With Smart Mirror’s augmented reality lens simulator, patients can quickly visualize how they will see through the different types of multifocal lenses, computer lenses, AR, polarized, or photochromic. It gives patients an immersive visualization of their lens choice, as opposed to a sales pitch.
ACEP’s latest version, Smart Mirror for iPad Pro and iPadOS 14, does not require the use of a frame clip to measure PDs and heights quickly and accurately and capture other measurements necessary to ensure a proper lens fit, according to ACEP.
A Stylish Solution for Socially
Shamir Spark Mi Up
Shamir recently launched Spark Mi Up, a touchless measuring device that looks like an ordinary tabletop mirror, yet it allows ECPs to take all required measurements with just a few clicks, while keeping patients at a safe distance. Stylish and technologically advanced, the mirrored device is both a measuring tool and a camera, simplifying the process of taking measurements in under a minute while keeping the patient and optician six feet apart.
With Spark Mi Up, the patient looks at the mirror, as they naturally would, wearing their chosen glasses. The optician clicks once, and the patient’s image is captured. The image appears on the optician’s computer screen, along with an immediate and accurate, automatically measured PD. An advanced algorithm enables fast and accurate measurements. (The average time to take and compute digital measurements is usually under 60 seconds, according to Shamir.) The optician can now get all the other measurements needed from the computer: FH, frame box, DBL, BVD, panoramic and pantoscopic tilt. An adjustable arm can accommodate varying patient heights to support a natural head position.
Another advantage of Spark Mi Up is its ability to take measurements through sunglasses. Using advanced image filters, the device can capture pupils even through dark lenses for the most accurate markings.
An All-in-One, Compact Device
for Personalized Measurements
and Frame Comparison
The Eye-Ruler 2 from Essilor Instruments is an all-in-one, compact device that enables personalized measurements with only two photos as well as a frame comparison. Ultra-light and designed for ease of use, the device uses the latest embedded technologies including Bluetooth low-energy.
Eye-Ruler 2 is sold complete with an iPad only. The patient must use his/her own iTunes account to download the Eye-Ruler 2 app to complete the setup of the iPad. The device currently does not integrate with practice management systems.
All necessary and personalized parameters are taken with a single solution. Social distancing can be maintained for safety. The ECP has no physical contact with the patient while taking measurements; the patient does not need to touch or hold the device for far vision measurements such as monocular pupillary distance, fitting heights, eye-lens distance, pantoscopic tilt and wrap angle. Near vision measurements for reading distance can also be captured. A user-friendly display shows all results at a glance.
The frame comparison feature allows the patient to select and compare up to four frames.
Demonstrating Multiple Pairs
With a Single Shot
OptikamPad and Optikam Posture Device
The OptikamPad iPad App is a complete dispensing solution that helps ECPs assist patients at all stages of the eyewear dispensing process. Using OptikamPad, dispensers can demonstrate the benefits of multiple pairs of eyewear by capturing various postures of the customers (sitting, standing or driving) and one single image. OptikamPad allows dispensers to take measurements with minimal human-to-human contact by putting the iPad on a stand and operating the app using a Bluetooth mouse.
OptikamPad provides the ten measurements needed for Position of Wear: Monocular Pupillary Distance (PD), Multifocal Seg Heights, Pantoscopic Tilt (Panto), Rear Vertex Distance (RVD), Wrap (Face Form Tilt), Near Pupillary Distance, A, B, ED/MBS and DBL values
OptikamPad’s Automatic Image Detection allows all measurements to be obtained immediately after snapshot, avoiding time-consuming manual placement of reference points.
An augmented reality module assists ECPs in building the lens combination of their patient’s choosing. This module allows patients to see how different lens options will impact their vision. The OptikamPad’s video mode lets patients choose a live view with the lens options of their choice in or outside of the dispensary.
The companion Optikam Posture Device (OPD) obtains eyewear measurements that factor in how the frame will be worn by the patient once dispensed. These personalized “as-worn” measurements allow lens designs to be customized to take into account Vertex Distance, Pantoscopic Tilt and Frame Wrap. The patient’s posture to be captured remotely from the OptikamPad app, allowing for social distancing. Dispensers can demonstrate the benefits of multiple pairs of eyewear by capturing various postures of the customers (sitting, standing or driving) and one single image.
The Optikam Cloud Service provides detailed usage analytics, remote technical support assistance, data protection and multi-station licensing.
A Versatile App for Measurement, Lens Demos, Frame Selection and Augmented Reality
Hoya Vision Care
Spectangle Pro from Hoya is an iPad app that assists in every facet of the eyewear dispensing process. It includes four distinct modules: measurement, lens demos, frame selection, and augmented reality.
The measurement module works in tandem with the EY-Stick to capture advanced optical measurements using one front-facing image. Both tools in tandem take measurements of how frames sit on patient’s faces, as well as taking natural posture into account.
The lens selection module compares different premium lens features and coatings such as progressive lenses or tints. A bank of images show examples of lenses in action allowing for a much more natural conversation around the choices your patients have.
The frame selection module makes it easy for patients to easily compare different frames and pick the one they prefer. Images can be easily pulled and sent directly to the patient in case they need time to think before making a decision.
The augmented reality (AR) module allows patients to take certain lens features for a test ride around your office or pre-built environments. Taking the lens selection process one step further and wowing patients along the way.