ORLANDO, Jan. 30, 2012 – Transitions Optical, Inc. launched the latest breakthrough in adaptive lens technology – variable polarization – today at Transitions Academy, its annual education event for industry professionals. Transitions® Vantage™ lenses are the first and only lenses designed to both darken and polarize upon UV exposure to deliver noticeably crisper, sharper vision, even in the brightest outdoor glare.
Transitions Vantage lenses are everyday photochromic lenses that start out virtually clear and non-polarized indoors; outdoors they not only adapt to changing light but also increase polarization as they darken, optimizing the angle at which light reaches the eyes to help control glare and light scatter.
Until now, polarization only existed primarily as a fixed film in sun lenses. Transitions Vantage lenses employ a new technology different than current photochromics and polarization. While current photochromic molecules darken in random patterns, creating an even tint, the photochromic dyes in Transitions Vantage lenses not only darken, but also align to create polarization. This means that Transitions Vantage lenses will have a variable level of polarization efficiency depending on the amount of UV exposure – the darker the lens, the more polarization efficiency there is. The lighter the lens, the less polarization there will be.
“Variable polarization is what’s next in a history of firsts that Transitions Optical has brought to the industry,” explained John Ligas, director research and development, Transitions Optical, Inc. during the launch event, which was attended by over 1,300 industry professionals. “In the past, the only photochromic variable was clear to dark. Transitions Vantage lenses not only break the paradigm that tint is the only photochromic variable, but they also challenge conventional thinking that a clear lens can’t become polarized and a polarized lens can’t become clear. We’re quite literally making the impossible possible.”
Transitions Vantage Lenses: Exploring the Possibilities
Transitions Vantage lenses are a part of an everyday product offering – meant to be worn indoors and outdoors – which is complemented by a full line of performance sunwear products. With added anti-reflective (AR) coating, Transitions Vantage lenses become the only everyday lenses available that help to manage all four types of glare.
“Transitions Vantage lenses give consumers additional benefits they have never been able to have in a clear lens,” said Alexis Cardona, chief marketing officer, Transitions Optical. “We are bringing adaptability and responsiveness to an area of the optical market that formerly was fixed, further helping enhance the vision and lives of patients. This will provide significant opportunity to increase business for the eyecare professional and all of our trade partners.”
Wearer Experience Counts
In a wearers test, comparing Transitions Vantage lenses to Transitions® VI lenses, Transitions Vantage lenses rated high in satisfaction for indoor and outdoor use and were preferred on all key polarization benefits.
“Transitions Optical has created and developed proprietary measurement and testing tools and techniques that have set the standard for the photochromic category – but we will be the first to tell you that trying to compare light transmission numbers isn’t going to give you the full story,” explained Ligas. “There are too many factors that impact how the wearer actually sees, which is why we don’t just test our products in controlled lab settings, we also use consumer wearer testing across a variety of temperature and lighting conditions to ensure an enhanced wearer experience.”
These results show that the added benefit of polarization does make a difference to the wearer experience:
- 8 out of 10 photochromic patients were satisfied with the outdoor experience of new Transitions Vantage lenses.
- 9 out of 10 photochromic patients were satisfied with the indoor clarity of new Transitions Vantage lenses.
- Outdoors, on all of the key polarization benefits – visual contrast, crispness of vision and sharpness of vision – Transitions Vantage lenses are preferred over Transitions VI lenses.
Product Availability and Support
Transitions Vantage lenses will be available for consumer purchase, exclusively in grey, in a variety of materials and designs in May 2012. Eyecare professionals should check with their laboratory or lens manufacturer for details.
Leading up to that time, Transitions Optical will host a variety of events and activities to help industry professionals understand the product and how to recommend it to patients. In February, eyecare professionals will be able to sign up to receive free support materials after completing an online quiz at www.TransitionsVantage.com. Materials will be mailed in March.
“This is not just the next generation of Transitions lenses, this is a whole new area for adaptive lenses,” added Cardona. “We are working with eyecare professionals to create new language and a new way to communicate the benefits of adaptive lenses and now variable polarization to patients.”