EssilorLuxottica introduces smart eyewear hub

The facilities are expected to be operational by the end of 2021, with the first innovations due to be revealed “in coming months”

eye and lens

EssilorLuxottica is creating a new innovation hub dedicated to smart eyewear and electrochromic technologies.

The company suggested this move will help accelerate initiatives to address consumer needs and “fully capture the potential of this fast-growing wearables segment,” with company leaders suggesting its first innovation in this area could be revealed in coming months.

The Smart Eyewear Technologies Center will be located within the company’s industrial facility in Dijon, France, co-ordinating relevant research and development (R&D) and industrialisation sites in Toulouse and Créteil, and also collaborating with the R&D teams in Agordo, Italy.

The company is making “significant investments” to the Dijon facility for teams and equipment as well as the expansion of the existing site, including the creation of a high-grade clean room.

The facilities are expected to be operational by the end of 2021, and the company suggested the first products will be launched “in the near future.”

The centre is set to enable EssilorLuxottica to cover the entire value chain – from research to production – bringing together more than 50 experts and leveraging more than ten years of R&D in the field.

Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica, said of the announcement: “We are accelerating our investments and reinforcing our capacity to bring digital technology into eyewear, in the service of good vision.”

Sharing their view that advanced optical functions in lenses will be “instrumental” to the company’s mission, the executives added: “We now look forward to showcasing our first innovation in the segment of active products at EssilorLuxottica in the coming months.”

In exploring this field, EssilorLuxottica has built partnerships with a number of organisations, including the French National Centre for Scientific Research (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) and the University of Huddersfield in the UK.

The company has also launched “important co-developments” with private companies, including “the biggest firms inside digital and electronics worldwide landscape.”