Focusing on emPower!


This was a very fun assignment for me – reporting on our competition winner from “Win a Pair of emPower! or Free Trip to Vision Expo East 2012“.  Brenda is shown receiving her prize – emPower! electronic focusing eyeglasses provided by Pixel Optics.

We thought it would be interesting for our readers to hear about the process:

1. Brenda selects her frame:

Brenda picks her emPower! frames

First of all Brenda selected the frame she liked, #E7 103 color 10, I approved as I like the soft pink hue. John Ditski, ABOC was in charge of the fitting and training. I realized as I watched and listened that training the optical consumer to wear and use emPower! correctly is crucial. John told me that he personally did not wear a progressive until emPower! became available and he turns off the reading area when he is not using it.  He says “we live in an intermediate world”. Designed to address distortion and visual “swim” associated with traditional progressive lenses, emPower! features composite lenses with a thin, transparent LCD-like liquid crystal layer, which interacts with the unit’s electronics package to allow the user to turn the near-focus reading zone on and off at will.

2. Marking up the frame from the cut out chart

Marking using emPower! cut out chart

There are some subtle differences for the optician to learn as well, for example although John was using a fitting chart he did not use a minimum fitting height on the frame as it will vary and needs to be very specific for the electronics.

3. Learning to  “touch focus”

Learning to adjust focus, on and off or automatic

John showed Brenda how to touch the zone in the temple to turn off the reading function or to put in the automatic mode. emPower! features composite lenses with a thin, transparent LCD-like liquid crystal layer, which interacts with the unit’s electronics package to allow the user to turn the near-focus reading zone on and off at will Wearers can operate the glasses in three different modes: manual on, automatic and manual off.

4. Training and Learning to use emPower!

Listening and Learning to be an emPower! wearer

It will take approximately four weeks for Brenda to receive her new emPower! eyewear so we will be following up with her in May to see how she likes them and to interview her for Part 2 of Focusing on emPower! .

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  1. Ggood luck getting them in 4 weeks. We just turned all the frames back to Aspex because we didn’t even receive our samples and it had been 3 months. We, like all that had it, made a huge investment in time, all Opticians had to go out of state to take 2 different courses prior to being able to sell, space, their display takes up a huge chunk of the dispensary, and money, if you don’t have it you can imagine what the buy-in was. We started off very excited about the prospects of selling EmPower to the public, but the excitement quickly waned, as getting the product was impossible. Too bad.

  2. TheMEB- Interesting! Do you mind telling me how difficult it was to get credit on the product, maybe you hadn’t even had it out of the package yet.We have had the frames on our boards for 3 months, but our staff is getting really leary about showing and promoting it considering we have yet to receive a finished product that passes inspection. Two of the jobs were started before January 20th.

  3. We are sorry to see this, we are excited about emPower! as we think it is a great product but new technology is often bumpy, we hope the bumps get ironed out soon.

  4. Was just at Optowest and one of the attendees said they dispensed 3 emPower and the patients loved them.

  5. PixelOptics is dedicated to producing and providing eye care professionals with the world’s first electronically focusing eyewear. The response to emPower! has been extremely positive and we received orders that quickly outstripped our capacity. We have been busy ramping up production that will shorten delivery times. As is often the case with new technology, it is sometimes a challenge to respond to higher demand as quickly as the market would like without compromising the integrity of the product. We apologize to those that have encountered longer delivery times than promised and assure you that we are doing everything we can to meet our delivery schedule for emPower orders without compromising quality. This week, emPower! won the prestigious Edison Gold Award for Improving Quality of Life sharing the spotlight with other winners including Apple, IBM Watson, Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare. Thank you for your interest in this extraordinary new vision technology.


    Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO
    Vice-President Global Professional Affairs

  6. I have no more to comment since we shut them down due to extremely poor delivery time, except to say, as far as your prestigious award is concerned, I hope it doesn;t turn out like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize before he even did anything. In fact, many would argue that he still hasn’t done anything correct, that is.

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