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FILE Training & technology: How are they shaping the future of optics?

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The optical industry is constantly evolving, and the glassmakers of the future will need to adapt to new technologies and skills to meet the changing needs of customers. Training and the use of technology play a critical role in preparing the next generation of optics experts. This file offers you an overview of the trends and developments that will, or are already shaping the future of these professions.

Optical training and technology: staying at the forefront of the industry

In the optics sector, continuing education is essential to enable glassmakers and eyewear makers to both remain competitive and adapt to the constant evolution that the industry can represent. optical. Technological advances and new trends in visual health require regular updating of skills and knowledge.

Glass and eyewear makers must familiarize themselves with the latest technological advances in the design and manufacturing of glasses. This includes learning computer-aided design (CAD) software, precision measuring equipment, and advanced lens mounting techniques. On the other hand, the diversification of skills is becoming more and more crucial. Some professionals opt for specialized training in areas such as contact lenses, low vision, advanced contactology, neuro-optometry, etc. This allows them to meet specific customer needs and broaden their field of expertise. expertise.

But technical skills are not the only ones that need to evolve. Business management, customer service, design, trends, ethical and environmental needs… All these elements are likely to considerably modify the professions of optical players.

In short, continuous training and specialization are fundamental pillars for the glassmakers and eyewear makers of the future. This allows them to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market and meet the varied and complex needs of customers, while being responsive to technological developments, market trends and social concerns.

Rapid evolution of optical technology

In a highly competitive sector, technological development plays a crucial role in the way in which glassmakers and eyewear makers will shape their expertise and their professional practice.

Thus, the tools High-precision measurement tools, such as automated refractometers and corneal topographers, which enable more accurate and faster assessment of visual defects and eye shape, are constantly evolving. Computer-aided design (CAD) software, which offers glassmakers and eyewear makers the ability to create custom frames based on specific customer needs , such as 3D printing , is widely changing the way people shop. a mount.

Moreover, there is little doubt about the integration of augmented reality into daily life in the future. Thus, new generation glasses (smart glasses ) could, in the near future, become one of the essential items on opticians' shelves or could even assist them in their work in order to personalize the customer experience.
[ =]Among the most incredible innovations, there remain those surrounding the development of more advanced lenses, such as digital progressive lenses and photochromic lenses with rapid transition between tints. Smart contact lenses are also in R&D to offer ever more incredible features.

In short, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies allows glassmakers and eyewear makers to improve precision, personalization and efficiency of their services. These tools allow them to meet specific customer needs, while remaining at the forefront of the latest technological advances in the optical industry.

One day, 100% customizable?

Frame customization has become an essential aspect of the optical shopping experience, providing customers with the ability to obtain eyewear tailored to their specific needs and individual style. Modeling tools allow glassmakers to design custom frames based on the client's precise facial measurements. These frames are adapted to the facial morphology, providing optimal fit and comfort.

Customization already also includes the selection of high-quality materials for frames, ranging from lightweight metal to eco-friendly materials like wood or biocompatible acetate. Customers can also choose from a range of finishes, colors and textures to create unique frames. And other specifications reinforce personalization such as the possibility of modifying your frame yourself, via accessories, interchangeable properties…

As we can see, optical experts will engage customers in a collaborative process , involving them in the design of their glasses. Will we one day see an optical store empty of any physical frames? If the customization of frames becomes a standard in the optical industry, this approach does not necessarily appear unrealistic.

The boom in telemedicine and mobility

Tele-medicine and tele-optometry are revolutionizing access to optical care, offering a new dimension to eye health services. Still deeply criticized, it initiates a debate between pro and against which we will not aim to resolve here. However, remote consultations have allowed patients who have difficulty traveling or living in medical deserts to consult an eye care professional.

This approach therefore contributes to improving accessibility, even if the solution is not perfect. However, it will undoubtedly be one of those elements which will shape the near future of optics because it promotes rapid diagnosis and monitoring.

In the same vein, mobile professionals have seen their services widely requested in recent years. We will undoubtedly have to count on opticians who go directly to customers as this new way of working facilitates the response to certain issues such as distance or sedentary lifestyle .

These services will again require training. linked to evolving technology.

And eco-responsibility in all this?

Sustainability and eco-responsibility have become crucial aspects in many areas, from which the optical industry cannot escape, reflecting a growing concern for the environment. Behaviors need to change and therefore, the work value also stands out in this way.

In this context, frame manufacturers use recycled or sustainable materials, such as biosourced plastics, wood from responsible sources or even recyclable metals, in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of eyewear production. These new ways of working are part of a more global program which aims to respect ethical and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) charters. The way of working is therefore transformed into substance and these contributions are part of the concerns of professionals.

Design, improved recycling programs, adjusted working hours…everything is linked in order to propose an approach that has meaning and which does not only consist of moving towards greenwashing .

Training and technology: anticipating the dangers of change

Finally, and it is on this point that we will end this file, all these changes linked to training and technology will require significant anticipation of the risks that all this progress will generate. As in all areas, there are almost as many risks as opportunities, which must be addressed.

For example, effective data management and well-maintained customer relationships will prove essential to providing quality optical services and improving the customer experience. The analysis of customer data will offer a personalized experience but must be supervised to avoid any risk of intrusion. Training and technological developments will improve skills but also risk reinforcing inequalities between generations.

Telemedicine, which offers a diversification of activity, can largely, due to the high costs of the necessary equipment, leave certain professionals unable to offer it, and the desire to offer a 100% responsible offer must be careful not to sideline a more disadvantaged target audience.

In short, optics training and technology are set to fundamentally transform the sector, so the future looks exciting and exciting. This future is already underway or is shaping trends that will require questioning, a desire to innovate and egalitarian approaches.