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Sunglasses: A new generation of lenses

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Whether it’s sports or any other kind of competitive pursuit, people are always looking to gain a performance advantage. This is an arena where sunglasses have become a key component over the past 20 years. 

Emphasis on lenses

Whilst many performance sunglasses have previously aimed for lightweight, aerodynamic frames, we’re seeing advances in vision technologies, which are putting the emphasis on the lenses. 

Think about it:

  1. Imagine a golfer, whose sunglasses allowed him or her to see the ball and the fairway clearer than their competitors.
  2. Consider the advantage a tennis player would have, if direct sunlight was not causing them to squint, because they could see the ball clearly.
  3. Then think of the advantage that participants in any kind of sport-shooting or archery would have, if they were able to focus with total clarity on the target. 

Sunglasses and new lens technology

Technology is starting to enter the market, which could go on to do all of the above and much, much more. I’m not referring to sunglasses that simply block UVA and UVB rays through a colored lens. I’m referring to a new generation of lenses, which improve contrast, reduce glare and make it easier for us to see in direct sunlight.

An example of the interest in this new breed of sunglasses, is the extremely successful ORION4Sight Kickstarter campaign. It raised more than a third of a million dollars - the biggest eyewear Kickstarter ever.

After almost 2 decades providing their ORION Vision Technologies to elite U.S. Special Operations Commandos, the company are now offering a consumer version, ORION4Sight. On their Kickstarter page, Military users testify that they have been able to operate in direct sunlight, without having to squint. 

Mass market appeal?

Whilst this is a clear advantage in that scenario, it’s also extremely useful for outdoor activities, or even for enjoying a better visual experience of the world around you. As is the case with any new technology, we will only find out if there is sufficient demand for this type of specialist lens, when they reach the market. 

Let’s see.

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