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:

  • Rodenstock: Impression FreeSign PRO Progressive: it uses the new measurement system of the DNEye PRO and the PRO410 substrate.  Solitaire Protect PRO 2 is the new premium coating with improved transmission. 
  • Essilor: A new AR coating called Crizal Sapphire. Its consumer advantages are that the anti-reflection coating has been optimised to allow light coming in through the side of the lens to pass through the lens and not show a reflection.  In addition, the coating layers have been optimised.  Transitions launched new colours in their Signature VII range.  These are amber, amethyst, sapphire and emerald green.
  • Carl Zeiss Vision: Announced that as of April 2018 all Zeiss branded ophthalmic lenses will be UV cutting at 400 nanometers. This is above the industry standard of 380 nanometers.
  • Hoya Vision Care: Launched a new range of ophthalmic lenses called Sync III.  It is a range of single vision lenses with an addition in the lower part of the lens.  There is a corridor function between the normal power and the extra power.  Two other progressives, which were launched in the second half of 2017, were shown at the show.  These were Balansis and LifeStyle 3.

 In the area of equipment of interest were:

  • A new phoropter from Essilor called Vision-R800. It can take measurements in 0.01diopter steps, has a step change function, which is easier on the eye, and due to the system of lenses used in the head of the unit it is slimmer.
  • A development of the Rodenstock DN Eye scanner called PRO. It allows a measurement of the length of the eye to be integrated into the parameters from which an ophthalmic lens is made for the consumer.
  • Carl Zeiss Vision showed their new 3D digital centration system VISUFIT 1000. The design is eye catching.  In future, the detailed measurement data can be used for virtual try-on and making individualized frames.
  • Weco generated a lot of interest with their VX 160 Eye Refract measurement system. It can carry out a refraction both in the distance and in the near.
  • The Michael Pachleitner Group showed an iPad-based system, which measures the UV light cutting and blue light cutting qualities of a lens

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: 

  • One refraction room
  • One optometry room
  • One shop floor (see picture below.)

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.




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