What optometrists need to know about selling the Transitions Gen S lens

Laurent Dosseville, commercial director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Russia at Essilor Transitions, explains what practice owners and optometrists should know when deciding whether to stock the new Transitions Gen S lens

Gen S frames
Austin Dohohue
Available in Europe and the US in April and in the UK from June, the Transitions Gen S lens is promising to revolutionise lens wear and set a new global standard for prescription glasses, with its ultra-fast fade-back and eight vibrant new colourways

OT caught up with the team behind the lens at Transitions Academy in Orlando, to dig deeper into what optometrists in the UK might need to know when deciding whether the technology offered by the Gen S is right for their patients.

Laurent Dosseville, commercial director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Russia at Essilor Transitions
Here, commercial director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Russia at Essilor Transitions, Laurent Dosseville, discusses the problems the lens can solve for patients, how it can be best positioned in practice, and why the technological innovation behind it is key.

Could you describe this new lens and its innovation in one sentence?

Would you allow me two sentences? The first sentence would be: it’s a product that goes beyond simple correction, to deliver what we call a dynamic lens experience, which goes through different types of consumer benefits in terms of speed, style, and smartness. It can provide wearers with a different type of visual experience: style experience with the frame, and very strong benefits in terms of visual performance as well.

There is an entire new world of visual experience for the wearer that is brought into the game by this new technology, Transitions Gen S. We know consumers are looking for products that are going beyond simple visual correction. If we look at the innovation process that we took with this lens, we put the consumer at the front of development, in understanding emotional needs, but also functional needs, in order to make sure that we have the best symbiotic technology. This allows dyes and molecules to work best with the matrix, in order to deliver the best impact on visual performance, thanks to contrast improvement. The idea that we have is to define a new standard in the industry of dynamic lenses.

There is an entire new world of visual experience for the wearer that is brought into the game by this new technology


What problems might this lens solve for patients?

All types of problems. Let me start with the visual ones. Some of the problems patients might face are related to their lifestyle. We know that light today is not only static – it is dynamic. Light is everywhere. What we want to create with this new technology is a new visual experience for wearers.

Patient needs go beyond correction. This product can deliver much better contrast sensitivity, which is key for the visual performance of wearers. Basic correction is related to visual acuity. This product is opening a new dimension of contrast sensitivity. We worked with researchers to make sure we could explore these new dimensions.

This technology attenuates light stress, which is very important at all times for continuous visual performance. We know that, when you are exposed to visual stress, although you have a product that might be able to manage the stress, you will have less ability to recover from the visual stress. This is key. The intent of this new technology is to sustain continuous visual performance, by optimising the lighter dose at all times.

In terms of conditions, Gen S also improves performance in challenging light conditions. What we found, through randomised controlled clinical trials, is 39% faster vision recovery from intense light when compared to clear lenses, and 40% faster vision recovery during fade-back compared to the previous generation [of lenses].

The last point, which is also key, is 39.5% improvement in contrast sensitivity during fade-back compared to the previous generation. Contrast sensitivity is really what makes the wearer experience [with Gen S] unique. It will help wearers to have better contrast perception during their day. This is what will make this technology a must.

Thanks to this technology, which is improving contrast perception by close to 40%, patients will be in a better position to recognise people in the street. People who are looking for visual performance will extend their ability to react to different signals. That could mean better performance in sport, but it could also give older people a better ability to use their vision.

When you age, recognition of faces and cognitive senses are key. With this product, you improve your vision all round: not only visual acuity, but contrast perception. You provide a stronger opportunity for people of all ages and generations to have better performing vision during the daily functions of their life.

black frames
Austin Dohohue

Where are you hoping to sell the Gen S, and what will your key markets be?

Transitions is working with an open business model. We intend to sell the product to all the partners in the industry that are willing to partner with Transitions to make this technology available in the market. We intend for all Transitions partners to be launching this product in the marketplace.

We are launching in the US on 9 April, then Italy on 16 April, and then the French market on 23 April. The UK is coming on 4 June. This product is available in all the best lens materials, in eight new colours. It’s a massive launch for the industry.

Obviously, this is a premium product. What kind of price point are you looking at for the lenses?

Transitions Gen S will be priced with a minimum premium of about +10% vs the current technology, depending on the specific market.

What would you say to optometrists and practitioners who have practices and are selling prescription lenses to patients about the value of stocking in this lens?

My advice to optometrists would be to think about the opportunity for their patients to benefit from this amazing technology, which can really combine emotionality and functionality. Look at the opportunity to recommend dynamic lenses, rather than basic lenses. We are moving from basic to dynamic. Understanding the potential of these dynamic lenses is really key.

Wearers today know that simple correction is already well-delivered by static lenses. But consumers are looking beyond simple visual correction. Because of that, this product should be recommended as the new standard in the industry. For those who are wearing their glasses indoors and outdoors, we are defining these new standards, which could bring a lot more efficiency to their visual activity.

How can optometrists best communicate the lens to their patients, in layman's terms?

It’s all about the question of whether they would be interested in dynamic lenses, and providing the benefit of high definition, and all the benefits that this new technology can deliver to consumers, in terms of light stress on eye fatigue, and so on.

This could benefit a lot of consumers. During COVID-19 and since, a lot of people have been spending a lot of time behind their screens, at home. The eye has become more important than before, so having products that can deliver a better visual performance and deliver less light stress could be a strong benefit for patients.

The pairing could also be an important factor for dispensing teams. Gen S has been conceived, as well as a style catalyst, as an opportunity to become an integral part of someone's look and personality. This point could be really strong [when communicating the lens to patients].

Consumers are more conscious than ever about what materials are being used in frames and lenses. Is there anything you want to say on sustainability or around the materials that have been used in these lenses?

I think this dynamic lens concept – the fastest dark lens in the market – could help to maximise usage of frame and lenses, if you consider that we could also become a must in terms of wearing these dynamic lenses all day long. That could help to have a significant impact on sustainability as well. You no longer need three solutions.

The product is called Gen S. What does the S stand for?

Gen S stands for the speed, the style, and the smartness of the lens.

What are your hopes for year one of this lens being on the market?

I was working in the US from 2004 to 2009, and I was lucky to experience a new technology coming into the market that was well received by professionals. We doubled the market in five years, and I’m sure that in Europe we can do the same. We could double, at least, our business into Europe but also into the UK, thanks to this revolutionary technology and this concept of dynamic lenses.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell optometrists about the Gen S?

In the development of the lens, we put the consumer at the centre, to make sure we were developing something that could provide a better experience and meet today’s expectations.

I think the focus on colour is interesting. It provides a new opportunity to deliver the message of taking care of your eyes, but with a fun approach for the consumer, while also addressing the core of the visual performance. It’s a mix between emotional and functional, and I love this approach. On the consumer side, you want to have this emotional approach. And of course, on the professional side, you want to make sure you deliver the best lens for your patients, so the performance approach is key as well. This combination, for me, is a key success factor.

Style is so key for this product. With the Ruby colour, we are adding to the chromatic circle one missing piece, which will create an infinite possibility of pairing options with frames.

Nowadays, no frames should be delivered that don’t look good. We have completely revamped all our colours. There are eight new, vibrant colours. You are providing the best equipment possible to your patients, for more style, more fun, and a better life.

Transitions Gen S will be available in the UK from 4 June.