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Electronic glasses: the new way?

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The recent announcement of the partnership between Novacel and the Morrow company in the field of electronic lenses demonstrates significant progress in the optical eyewear industry. This collaboration promises to usher in a new era, marked by the introduction of smart glasses designed to improve vision. The development of electronic lenses represents a major evolution in a sector where technological innovation is essential to meet the changing needs of consumers. Since Novacel's first attempts in 2013 with the emPower! , until the emergence of Morrow and its revolutionary eProgressives technology, the history of electronic lenses is characterized by challenges, failures, but also by perseverance which today opens new perspectives. An introduction that lays the foundation for exploring in detail the implications and opportunities of electronic lenses in modern eyewear optics.

The history of electronic glasses

The history of electronic glasses begins with Novacel, a renowned glassmaker based in Château-Thierry, France. In 2013, Novacel took a bold step by launching the emPower! project, marking the first steps towards the creation of electronic glasses. This innovative technology aimed to introduce advanced functionalities into the glasses, notably making it possible to activate or deactivate an additional segment in the reading zone according to the user's visual needs. Despite its revolutionary potential, the emPower! encountered major challenges and obstacles, particularly in terms of production costs, considered too high, and ultimately leading to its abandonment.

neon glasses

However, the failure of the emPower! has not undermined Novacel's commitment to the search for innovative solutions for eyewear optics. And so Morrow , a vision technology company based in Ghent, Belgium, burst onto the scene with its own revolutionary vision. The young company has developed switchable liquid crystal lens technology, thus opening new perspectives in the field of smart glasses.

On January 12, the partnership between Novacel and Morrow was been announced , thus confirming a new stage in the evolution of electronic glasses. This strategic collaboration promises to reshape the global eyewear market by introducing a range of electronic e-progressive lenses in France and Switzerland. Morrow's eProgressives project represents the latest advancement in progressive glasses, remarkably mimicking the natural accommodation of the eye. Through the use of liquid crystal lenses activated by an electrical current, eProgressives lenses provide unparalleled comfort, a wider field of vision, and rapid transition between viewing distances. These revolutionary features were hailed at the 2023 SILMO d'Or award ceremony, where Morrow's eProgressives product won the precious trophy in the "Vision" category.

Thus , the history of e-glasses reflects a journey of challenges, failures and technological breakthroughs that set the stage for the advent of smart glasses of tomorrow.

Economic and social challenges and implications

The economic and social implications of electronic glasses are profound, affecting both manufacturers, consumers and society as a whole. First of all, from an economic point of view, the introduction of electronic lenses could disrupt the traditional model of the optical eyewear industry . Unlike traditional glasses which require regular replacement depending on changes in vision, electronic lenses adapt to changes in the user's vision. This could lead to a reduction in the frequency of eyewear purchases, which could impact revenues for manufacturers and retailers.

On the other hand, this technology also represents a economic opportunity , particularly for innovative companies investing in this technology. Manufacturers could benefit from a leading position in an emerging market, capturing a significant share of the global eyewear market. Additionally, the adoption of these technologies could boost demand for related products, such as elegantly designed and 3D printed eyeglass frames.

On a social level, these glasses could transform the way in which individuals interact with their environment. By offering improved visual comfort and an optimized user experience , these smart glasses could improve the quality of life of people suffering from vision problems. Additionally, by integrating advanced features such as augmented reality, electronic glasses could open up new possibilities in areas such as education, work and leisure.

However , the widespread adoption of e-glasses also raises social concerns, particularly around technology dependency , data security and privacy . Users and regulators will need to navigate carefully to ensure the benefits of e-glasses outweigh the potential risks.

Monitor future developments closely

The economic and social implications of electronic glasses are complex and varied. While they provide opportunities for innovation and improved quality of life, they also raise important questions about their impact on industry, society and individuals. It is crucial to continue to closely examine these questions as we enter an era of smart glasses.