No one likes going to the eye doctor – no one I know, anyway. I have terrible vision and got my first pair of glasses in third grade, though I refused to wear them for fear of being called a four-eyed nerd. This meant a lot of bumping into people until I finally gave in and started wearing them, but the worst part by far was always the eye examinations. I actually hit the eye doctor once for trying to look under my eyelid. It was pure reflex, I assure you, but my father, who had brought me to the appointment, was still mortified. Then I finally got contacts in high school, and those brought with them a whole new world of pain and suffering until I finally learned to put them in and take them out without horror and tears. (It took several weeks…I’m weird about eyes.)
And then there were the instances where I got through the trauma of the eye doctor only to get a glasses or contacts prescription that was just a little bit off. It happens, of course – eyesight is such a precise thing, with so many variations, and even the slew of tests the doctors put you through can sometimes fail to gauge your exact vision. Even the slightest error can cause numerous problems, so it’s back to the doctor for more torment.
HOYA Vision Care takes a high-tech approach to vision screening – an approach that, according to the company, eliminates even the slightest of errors. Lenses are customized, super-light, and equipped with all sorts of fancy technology that repels dirt, eliminates reflection and otherwise optimizes eyesight. Now HOYA has partnered with Materialise to make even eye exams less painful…and maybe even fun.
Materialise has made a big impact on the medical field with their 3D printed surgical models, surgical planning software, surgical guides and implants. Now, by partnering with HOYA, they’re extending their technology to eye care as well. Materialise’s design and engineering team will work with HOYA to produce a range of visualization equipment and other tools that will “empower eye care professionals to deliver an enhanced customer experience and differentiate themselves in the highly competitive eyewear industry,” according to Materialise.
“In Materialise, we have found an ideal partner for co-creating, engineering and manufacturing new innovations that can quickly be brought to the market with the quality expected of the HOYA name,” said Felix España, New Media Manager EMEA for HOYA Vision Care. “Materialise’s design and engineering experts work closely with our own to identify the designs, technologies and materials needed to introduce true innovation into the eyewear industry and deliver a premium consumer experience. Materialise’s software expertise and manufacturing capacity are then able to turn these concepts into high-quality, end-use products in quantities that meet the demands of our customers.”
The first results of the partnership between Materialise and HOYA are already on the market. The HOYA Vision Simulator is a virtual reality tool that allows patients to try their new lenses in a 3D, real-world setting before purchasing them. Optometrists program their patients’ prescription and pupil distance into a headset, which patients can then look through right in the office to get an actual sense of what they will be seeing when they leave with their new lenses. Also developed by the partnership is the HOYA EyeGenius, a comprehensive eye exam system with new technology that can better detect and correct fixation disparity.
“HOYA has a known commitment to using creativity and innovation to become the leading company in niche markets, making them not only an ideal co-creation partner, but also a company ready to utilize Materialise’s certified manufacturing for high-quality, end-use products,” said Bart Van der Schueren, Materialise Executive Vice President of Production. “With the first products already making their way onto the market, with great initial feedback, together with HOYA we are proving the added-value that 3D printing is ready to deliver to the entire eyewear industry.”
Below, you can get a feel for the new HOYA Vision Simulator. Discuss in the 3D Vision Simulator forum over at 3DPB.com.