EMPOWER!: A PARADIGM SHIFT IN OPHTHALMIC OPTICS

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Over the last several decades, paradigm shifts in the eyecare industry have altered our concepts of the professional services we can perform and the products we can offer patients. The advent of soft contact lenses/disposables, progressive multifocal designs, and the explosion of various imaging techniques have caused such shifts, to name a few. A new product, emPower! electronic eyewear recently launched by PixelOptics, Inc., just might be the latest technology to change the ophthalmic industry in as dramatic a manner.

LENS ANATOMY
emPower! starts with a progressive lens design that has a soft and wide distance zone merged into a long and wide intermediate zone. In other words, in its “off” state, this lens has no reading power. Instead, the lens’ add power is delivered electronically using a layer of transparent liquid crystal, similar to those used in HD TVs, to electronically change the add zone’s index of refraction, which adds additional reading power. The LC add zone is held between two layers of 1.67 index plastic, which makes the lenses thin and light. The distance power range covers +4.50D through -7.00D, with cylinder up to – 4.00D and full add power from +1.25D to +2.75D.

EMPOWER! ADVANTAGES
AT-A-GLANCE
• Fewer aberrations and distortion than traditional progressives
• Less perceived swim
• Wider intermediate add
• Ability to do tasks progressives interfere with, such as golf
• Wearers can lay in bed and watch TV without near zone
• There’s no blur in down gaze when walking down steps

TWO MODES
Hidden within the frame of these otherwise normal-looking eyeglasses is a microchip, micro-accelerometer, and miniature batteries used to regulate the invisible electronic near zone using one of two modes: automatic or manual. The electronic lenses will hold a charge for two to three days.

A simple touch of the temple in manual mode turns the near add on or off. A swipe of the right temple (either forward or backward) places the lenses into automatic mode. In this mode, the eyewear senses the wearer’s head position. If the wearer looks down, the add turns on; if the wearer looks straight ahead, the add turns off.

According to PixelOptics, these lenses reduce or eliminate many of the problems experienced with even the best progressive lenses because they provide wider fields of view and less distortion and blurry vision with tasks like walking down steps, playing sports, etc.

A CLOSER LOOK
It should be noted that the electronic section of the emPower! lens contributes +0.75D to the near zone of the prescription. In low adds such as +1.25D, that means that the non-electronic near section of the lens is contributing only + 0.50D, which is a major reason these lenses provide low levels of aberration and distortion.

AVAILABLITY
The emPower! package includes 1.67 index lenses, anti-reflective treatment, 100% UV protection, anti-scratch coating, and an electronic frame specially designed by Aspex Eyewear. There are around 36 models available with more planned. A Transitions® photochromic option is also anticipated. PixelOptics and Aspex intend to launch major marketing initiatives and support materials as the product is rolled out regionally.

TARGET MARKET
The market for this technology is very large, including patients who are not able to wear traditional progressive lenses, those concerned with safety as they walk down steps, golfers, tennis enthusiasts, and anyone with an active lifestyle. This also includes wearers who are looking for the latest in vision care technology and those who want the most performance and control in their eyewear. The emPower! concept has drawn rave reviews—practices that introduce this product are sure to see an excited patient base.

Steven Silberberg is senior partner at An Eye to the Future, a private, medically oriented group practice in Matawan, NJ.

emPower! provides wider fields of view and less distortion and blurry vision for active patients.

WHERE TO FIND IT

PixelOptics, Inc.
888-749-3567 • pixeloptics.com

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