2013 Honarable Mention!
Eyejusters Ltd, United Kingdom
Question 1: Describe the profound impact your technology – as part of an end-user product – has had on Society. How has the population been impacted by your technology. This could be behavioral, economical, societal, etc.
We make self-adjustable glasses (called Eyejusters), where the power of the lens can be changed with the turn of a dial. Our product can help solve a major public health need: over 700 million people worldwide, mostly in the developing world, lack a pair of glasses that they need to see clearly due to a lack of trained optometrists. With Eyejusters, a user can put the glasses on and adjust the lenses until they see clearly, greatly reducing the barriers to entry of distribution of eyewear.
Eyejusters are also the world’s first adjustable reading glasses, allowing customers to replace multiple pairs of reading glasses that have different lens powers for different tasks (such as reading, computer use, cookery and hobby work). Customers in the US, UK, Europe and Canada can purchase their own adjustable reading glasses and at the same time donate a pair to a vision project in the developing world.
Question 2: Tell us about how your technology is unique? What makes it stand out? How do you differentiate it from other similar technologies?
Although there have been several attempts at making adjustable focus glasses in the past, Eyejusters are the first to put our lenses into normal metal spectacles frames, with the lens units completely separate from the frames. This is a simple but crucial advance.
We take a similar revolutionary refining step with our lens optics. Our SlideLens technology is a development of optical work done in the 1960s (the Alvarez lens). The principle is simple - two specially shaped lens elements slide across each other, and as they do, the power of the complete lens system changes. Eyejusters’ innovation has been to take this principle and rebuild it from the ground up to make it suitable for use in eyewear. To do this we have developed custom modelling and simulation software which allow us to make optimisations on our optics that were never before possible. This allows us to offer high-quality optics at a low cost, using the advanced manufacturing techniques we have developed in-house.
Question 3: When first launched, did your technology make a transformational change for the end-user or incremental changes by improving a current technology? Describe this.
For end users in the developing world, we offer a transformational product. The ability to set the power of your own lenses to correct your own vision brings the possibility of good vision within reach for those previously denied it due to a lack of services. Organisations working in the developing world, including NGOs and micro-business retail channels can offer a new service with little overhead or investment.
Customers of our adjustable reading glasses get an incredible convenience product that overcome a common complaint with normal reading glasses - you have to keep changing them every time you want to focus on a different distance. It's a great improvement on traditional reading glasses at a good value price (starting at $40).
Question 4: Give a specific example (with company names) of the buying chain for your product/technology once you sell it to the next level buyer. Provide an example of the succession of companies your product goes through, ultimately to get to an end-user. Example: We produce a component that we sell to a laser systems manufacturer (name the company) who sells it to a medical OEM (name the company), who then sells it to a hospital (name the hospital).
At present we have a simple value chain to customer in both our main markets.
In the developing world we work with partner organisations who deliver glasses on the ground, either through commercial outlets/retailers or through charitable efforts. We have worked with Peace Corps volunteers, the Radler Foundation, and Global Vision 2020, and will soon be running trial projects with World Vision Canada and a variety of micro-business retailers in India.
In the US customers can buy directly from us through our website, or from our retailers (FirstStreet, DebSpecs, Innovative Reading Glasses) who purchase from us.
Question 5: In which vertical market(s) would you classify the end-users of this technology?
Question 6: Give us your one sentence “elevator pitch” you would use to tell a non-technical person about your technology and the critical role it plays in Society.
We make self-adjustable glasses, where the power of the lens can be changed with the turn of a dial. Over 700 million people worldwide, lack a pair of glasses that they need to see clearly due to a lack of optometrists. A user can put our glasses on and adjust the lenses until they see clearly.
Question 7: Surprise Us! What else should we know about your product/technology?
You can see our videos of Eyejusters in use at www.youtube.com/user/eyejusters.
More information is available at www.eyejusters.com.
Eyejusters - Developing world vision
Eyejusters - Adjustable readers