Lens demos boost understanding, confidence and perceived value of premium products.

How many times a day do you describe anti-reflective lens treatments for an eyewear patient? How about anti-scratch treatments, polarized lenses, photochromics, impact resistance and a host of other add-ons? Demos are an important part of the eyewear recommending process. To save time and provide a professional demonstration that gets the point across visually and audibly in an entertaining way, look no further than the lens modules that today’s digital eyewear measuring and selection devices contain.

These electronic measuring devices are not only impressive to patients, showing we are up to date with advancements in technology. They also give us access to more advanced customizable lenses, better frame fit, preview frame and lens appearance to the patient, an educational platform/device and in some cases a means to bill insurance for additional service, increasing practice revenue.

Many practices overlook the value of these systems being used as an educational tool. These devices can play a crucial role in educating the patient about their lens options. This is a sure way to increase premium product sales since the patient is able to actually visualize product features and increase the perceived value and confidence in that product.


The optician is now able to easily display thickness and weight differences in the different lens materials. Some systems use simulated drawings based on the patient’s approximate Rx and frame eye size, along with the estimated weight difference of the lenses. The Visioffice and m’eyeFit Touch, both by Essilor of America, Inc., show a simulated scale of the heavier lens weighing downward in comparison to the thinner, lighter lens. You can then change the approximate Rx power, and the weight scale and thickness images will change in front of the patient’s eyes.

The OptikamPad uses simulated drawings based on the patient’s approximate Rx and the frame measurements to display the differences in both thickness and weight for varying indexes. The OptikamPad will simulate the patient’s lens used from a given measurement to show the estimated thicknesses from a side view.

Of course this feature in all the systems (see chart on page 100) is beneficial for promoting mid- and high-index lenses. Along with the visual reference, it will also further educate the patient by giving more information on impact resistance and Abbe value.


Another simulation is showing the patient what to expect when looking through photochromic lenses in different light levels. It will show how the lens looks clear, dark and in between.

The patient can also see what the difference looks like through polarized lenses, compared to non-polarized. This simulation is very useful to the patient in perceiving value to the cost of polarization.

As we know, there is a difference between looking through a gray lens compared to a brown lens or through a photochromic or polarized lens. Now, with iPad-based systems such as i.Demo by ZEISS and Smart Mirror from ABS, Inc., you can simulate this for the patient to assist in the decision process.


With Visioffice and m’eyeFit, the optician has the advantage of utilizing a tool to educate the difference between different non-glare. This provides the patients with a better understanding on durability, cleanability, filtering and functionality.

One of our industry challenges especially in the U.S. is overcoming the patient perception of non-glare being a coating. Most of these systems will have info on how non-glare lenses are made and most premium non-glare is embedded into the lens.


Another positive feature of these systems is how they can show differences in lens design. i.Demo shows differences in customizable designs combined with other lens options. Smart Mirror provides an explanation of progressive lens designs by showing swimming effect, comfortable posture, width of visual field, small frames, contrast, glare and sharpness. OptikamPad’s Augmented Reality allows the ECP to make use of the iPad’s camera to build a patient’s lens. The patient can clearly see the impact to their vision by opting for a premium lens.


Most of these systems are available in both freestanding or tablet form. Tablet form can be very convenient, and in some cases the tablet can be used for other needs within the practice. The downside of the tablet versions is they have the potential for disappearing.

The freestanding systems can look very impressive to patients when they are displayed in sight of the waiting areas. This can be used as a marketing tool, sparking interest in the patient to find out more about the system. Freestanding units take up space in the dispensary, which can be tough for smaller opticals with space limitations.

Incorporating and utilizing these tools in our sales and education techniques is becoming increasingly more important. As Generation X is emerging into presbyopia and Millenials are experiencing computer fatigue syndrome, they will appreciate and expect these types of presentations to connect the product and features to their perceived value.

Premium product sales will surely increase when providing better visualization and understanding of what to expect, and your patients will have more confidence in you. That’s a win for everyone involved.

ABS, Inc. 888.989.4227 •

Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. 800-358-8258 •

Essilor of America, Inc. 800-542-5668 •

Optikam Tech, Inc. 888-356-3311 •

Mark Johnson, ABOC, NCLC, LDO, is the director of optical services at Virginia Eye Institute in Richmond, VA.


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