With the wide scope of today’s free-form products, ECPs are better equipped than ever to prescribe them. 

HOYA’s Sync 8
Shamir WorkSpace
ZEISS i.Scription Technology

As free-form lens technology continues to grow, you may think that this lens category is oversaturated with me-too products. While it’s true that there are hundreds of free-form designs, there are also plenty of fresh and innovative ideas happening in this lens segment. Here’s a look at the latest in free-form lenses.

The march of the Millennials continues to drive the market toward more personalized lens products covering a wide range of visual lifestyles. This demand is met by modern free-form technology, used by lens manufacturers to upgrade one of the tried-and-true staples in ophthalmic products: the single vision lens. Examples include Essilor of America, Inc.’s Essilor 360° single vision lens; Shamir Insight, Inc.’s Autograph II in single vision; HOYA Vision Care, North America’s iD Single Vision and Single Vision iQ; and Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc.’s ZEISS Individual SV.

Personalization continues to be a major focus for free-form lens manufacturers for presbyopes. The concept is simple: Make the lenses as perfectly accurate and customized for the wearer as possible. For decades, all lenses-including progressives-were designed using averaged data. This resulted in lenses that were good, but not ideal for any one person.

The more you can personalize a lens for its intended user, the better suited the product will be for them, as its potential for providing superior vision and comfort is maximized. That’s exactly what lens manufacturers have done with many premium free-form designs. Most incorporate position-of-wear measurements (pantoscopic tilt, face-form tilt [wrap], and vertex distance) and compensate the lens accordingly. Essilor’s Varilux Ipseo IV lenses include the parameters of head position and the degree to which a person rotates his eyes and head when viewing near objects. ZEISS’ Progressive Individual 2 has the option of using the company’s i.Scription Technology to optimize the lens design for higher order aberrations. ID LifeStyle 2 by HOYA uses the answers to patient lifestyle questions to personalize the lens design for the wearer.

Another large area of the market is dedicated to lenses that relieve digital eyestrain, which currently plagues Millennials and other digital device users. Digital eyestrain occurs when people focus on objects or materials 1-3 ft. away, such as computers and handheld digital devices, for long periods of time. Fortunately,

lens manufacturers have addressed this issue with specialized free-form single vision lenses. These lens designs provide a plus power boost when looking through the bottom half of the lens, helping to eliminate eyestrain. Examples include the ZEISS Digital Lens with power boosts up to 1.25D; the Shamir Relax with a 0.65D boost; the Essilor Anti-Fatigue lens with a 0.60D boost; and HOYA’s Sync 5 and Sync 8 with 0.50D and 0.80D boosts, respectively.


The latest free-form designs have made significant inroads into the area of occupational/task specific lenses with an array of lens designs for workplace-related vision tasks. By using free-form technology, lenses can be designed to enable a patient to view a wide area of his desk space up to a depth of field of 10-14 ft., depending on visual requirements. Examples of these lenses include Shamir WorkSpace, ZEISS Officelens (available in Book, Desk, and Room designs), Signet Armorlite, Inc.’s KODAK SoftWear Lens, and HOYA’s Tact BKS 40 and Tact BKS 60.

Never before has the ECP had so many options of free-form lens products to solve patients’ visual problems. And new ideas just keep on coming!

Richard McCoy is the owner of Fashion Eyes Vision Center in Fort Myers, FL, and an Opticianry Instructor at Hillsborough Community College in Fort Myers.


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

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

HOYA Vision Care, North America 877-528-1939 •

Shamir Insight, Inc. 877-514-8330 •

Signet Armorlite, Inc. 800-759-0075 •


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