What eyeglass wearers expect from self-tinting lenses
New study shows that fast reaction to changes in light is the key selling point
Photochromic lenses were invented in the 1960s by the chemist Stanley Donald Stookey and his colleague, William Armistead. Nobody doubted that it was a brilliant idea: lenses that react to UV light, turning dark like sunglasses outside but remaining clear indoors. The innovation changed the landscape of the industry completely, and today self-tinting lenses are used by one in five eyeglass wearers worldwide. The performance of the lenses has also continually improved over time, for instance with the introduction of plastic lenses by the Carl Zeiss Vision brand ‘American Optical’ in the 1980s, which allowed even tinting distribution for the first time. However, many users remain unsatisfied with their eyeglass lenses. The main criticism? The lenses are often considered to react too slowly to changes in light.
Customer priority number one: faster reaction
High adjustment speed to changes in light conditions is therefore at the top of the wish list for users of self tinting lenses, as shown by an extensive market study commissioned by Carl Zeiss Vision. In the survey, which was carried out in 2010 during spring and summer, 5,896 glasses wearers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Brazil, Australia and China gave an exact profile of their needs, preferences and opinions.
The study revealed a significant level of interest in self-tinting lenses: 53% of all glasses wearers knew about self-tinting lenses, while 20% were already using them. 94% of the users said they would buy self-tinting lenses again.
up to two times faster from dark to clear than previous photochromic lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision
Consumers very conscious of health and quality
91% of those surveyed affirmed the health benefits of high-quality eyeglass lenses. 94% considered proper protection against UV rays to be important for the health of their eyes. Many also shared similar views on quality: 86% of those who wore self-tinting lenses indicated that they would not buy lower quality eyeglasses to save money, even though most of them had to pay for their eyeglasses themselves. The participants who did not wear self-tinting lenses were also highly conscious of quality: 70% considered quality extremely important.
Consumers want lenses to make their lives easier
Participants saw great advantages in self-tinting lenses with regard to convenience and ease of daily life. “One pair of eyeglasses for all light conditions” – this exact practical benefit was mentioned by many participants and considered an improvement in quality of life. 77% of those surveyed said it should no longer be necessary to have one pair of eyeglasses for outside and one for inside. However, many thought there was still room for improvement: 43% of all participants said that the photochromic lenses available on the market at the time still reacted too slowly to changes in light conditions.
As a driving force in the global optics market, Carl Zeiss Vision worked intensively with the results of the study to develop self-tinting lenses that fulfilled all the user requirements mentioned: up to two times faster from dark to clear than previous photochromic lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision, 100% protection against UV rays, excellent colour consistency and service life. Two thirds of those surveyed thought that these eyeglass lenses represent greater value.
No more changing between glasses and sunglasses
The most convincing selling point for participants in the market study was purely pragmatic: the quick-reacting, and thus universal, PhotoFusion® eyeglass lenses from ZEISS remove the need for a second pair of eyeglasses, so users no longer have to swap constantly between pairs for different light conditions. This is also an advantage for those who wear sunglasses as an important fashion accessory and an expression of their personality: PhotoFusion® lenses clear up for perfect vision within a very short time after coming out of the sun, so you never need to take your shades off indoors again. The high-quality materials and innovative technology used by ZEISS make PhotoFusion® eyeglass lenses the must-haves for a fashion-conscious generation that places great importance on high-quality accessories.
For further information please visit www.photofusion.zeiss.com.