When walking the corridors of the show during the 3 days, the impression was that the traffic was strong and dynamic in halls C1, 2, 3 and 4.
This year OPTI opened a new hall, which was fairly empty during the three days of the show. In this new hall, in order to attract visitors, OPTI organised different conferences and was proposing the “Future Shop” concept (see below). This hall was also a place to find Chinese, Japanese and Korean ophthalmic lens and frame suppliers and some small French companies like Laboratoire Ponsen, which were exhibiting thanks to a French state organisation to promote French know-how. The press stands were also located in this new hall. SWV heard from different persons that next year OPTI plans to open two other new halls. It is hoped that this will not break the dynamic of the fair by spreading a similar number of visitors over a much wider area.
In terms of new ophthalmic lens products, the focus was made on launching new materials to cut blue light in a more efficient way than just applying a blue cut coating. Rodenstock launched a new blue light cutting at 410 nanometres material called PRO410.
The differences between the suppliers were more on the available product ranges. Only Tokai for example are now proposing the material in a 1.5 stock lens version and in a 1.76 RX version to complete their Lutina range. Some other lens manufacturers like Michael Pachleitner Optics insisted on the fact that with this new material, it also brings an aesthetic advantage, as there is no more residual colour, which can be sometime seen on blue light cutting coatings.
The other focus of lens manufacturers this year was to offer more comfort when driving. Michael Pachleitner Optics (MPO), with MPO Touring, Nika with Nika Drive or Rupp + Hubrach with SIIA are proposing new multifocal designs with a wider field of far and intermediate vision.
The other objective of these lenses is to reduce glare and to increase contrast in bad daylight conditions and at night with a combination of a blue light cutting material and a special coating.
SWV visited almost all the German lens manufacturers and many of them had no documentation in English to show, which is surprising for a so-called international fair.
In the area of new ophthalmic lenses, the launches by the four largest companies were:
In the area of equipment of interest were:
Generally, it seemed that design and the look of the equipment is becoming just as important as what the equipment actually does.
Two companies were exhibiting interesting developments in 3D printing of frames. These were POWDER & HEAT and VOYOU. They showed a wide range of shapes and colours, POWDER & HEAT showed decorations like flowers, which were in the material.
The texture of the frames is becoming smoother and more pleasant to the touch. The frames seen had a matt finish. One got the feeling that 3D frames, with the ranges now offered, are becoming a category and not just a Research and Development novelty.
In the new hall B4, OPTI proposed the “Future Shop” concept. It was composed of three spaces:
In each space the latest innovations of different suppliers were presented. In the shop floor, demonstrations of Zeiss software to help sell using augmented reality were shown. A fitting box mirror to help choose a frame and the Yuniku concept from Hoya were also shown.
Generally, from the studies that SWV is doing and discussions had on the show, SWV get the feeling that, although the German economy is doing very well, the German consumer at least for eyewear is being cautious about spending. The German market in 2017 grew in volume of ophthalmic lenses by about 1.8%. This is no more or less than the growth of the population needing eyewear year on year. Some of this consumer caution was seen in the behaviour of opticians who were sometimes reluctant to commit to new purchases at the show.