RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—The VSP Global Innovation Center released findings from a new report that identified vision as a key force in cutting-edge technologies and startup companies poised to shape the future of eyecare and eyewear. Created in collaboration with CB Insights, “The Future of Personal Performance,” identified five major trends that indicate where new opportunities for innovation exist as consumers increasingly seek ways to improve physical, mental, emotional, social and professional performance. “Applications that were once only accessible to elite athletes or through rare medical trials are now available to everyday consumers thanks to developing technology, economies of scale, increased consumer demand, and startup investments from major brands,” said senior director of the VSP Global Innovation Center Ruth Yomtoubian. 

“This report provides our team with valuable insights to consider as we work to meet the future needs of our members, clients, and network doctors.” The new report yielded a number of key findings, including the following:

  • Consumer expectations are changing about how their quantified self-data should be used and presented. They’re gravitating toward solutions that not only collect data but also interpret it for them, providing actionable insights about their strengths, weaknesses, and plans for improvement.
  • Eyecare professionals have long known that the eyes offer a window into overall health, and the report findings show that innovators and other companies have taken notice too. Startup funding has doubled in this space since 2016 as more and more companies are using the eye-brain connection to benefit consumers in multiple ways. 
  • Immersive technology manipulates one’s sensory environment by enhancing, distorting, or removing external stimuli (e.g., light, sound, temperature, pressure, etc.) to produce specific effects. Some startups are helping those who suffer from light sensitivity and headaches by using specific bands of light to generate negligible electrical signals in the eye and brain, while others are using wearables to produce subtle vibrations to impact the nervous system as a way to reduce stress and improve sleep.
  • Bionic technology, or bionics, are a unique class of performance enhancement where the technology itself is responsible for the performance gains, as opposed to the human body. From artificial retinas (bionic eye) to robotic extremities (bionic hand), these devices effectively act as replacements and extensions of the human body, though there’s typically some training required to operate them effectively.
The VSP Global Innovation Center is interested in partnering with organizations to develop and deliver life-improving products, experiences, and services for the company’s clients, members and network doctors. The Center can be reached at globalinnovationcenter@vsp.com.