The high life

In the city famous for its skyscrapers, it seems appropriate that there are plenty of big ideas on show at Vision Expo East

New York

American hospitality is legendary – but I will confess that even I was a little surprised by the warmth of the reception OT  received during its visit to New York’s Vision Expo East last weekend.

Be it the shared language, or certain similarities in the way we practise, I found many exhibitors who were excited to see the UK being represented, and keen to explore ways to raise their awareness across the pond.

Over the three days at the show, I found myself drawn to seeking out trends and patterns – both in terms of the products on offer, and the messages from the eye care practitioners attending the event.

Developments in 3D printing was one area that caught my attention. While companies like Canadian based Specsy have been working to finesse their eyewear offering, I was also able to catch-up with Luxexcel – the world’s first manufacturer of 3D printed ophthalmic lenses.

Speaking to the company’s chief operating officer, Joost van Abeelen, we discussed if Luxexcel recognised itself as a disruptor in the optical industry. His answer was clear: “We do not want to go head-to-head with the industry. Being a disruptor is not and never was a goal. What we do is never going to replace the manufacture of progressive lenses.”

Another company that is happier to embrace the disruptor label is Eyoto – although they were quick to remind me that change should be seen as a force for good.

This pioneering UK company, born as an Aston University tech start-up, has launched lens analysis equipment.

Describing the eMap as a game-changer, the in-practice tool uses power mapping and lens surface inspection to check uncut lenses or completed eyewear before passing on to the customer. Another iteration of the technology is available for lens laboratories.

“Eyoto is the future of eye care technology. We are bringing a fresh way of thinking to the optometric industry with next generation instruments,” the company explained. I for one am intrigued to see how the sector responds…

Image credit: Getty