WOW!!!! Since we blog on Technology Eyewear every Tuesday on Optical Vision Resources, I thought I should attend The International Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. I don’t think you can imagine the sheer amount of people, products and companies. Over 3200 Exhibitors, with over 150,000 people. If you want to know how big this is: The show was in the Las Vegas Convention Center, The Venetian, LVH hotel, Treasure Island….Pavilions and in hotel suites. You could fit, the Luxottica, Safilo and Marchon booth into just the Samsung booth. Add in at least 100 other companies with the same size of booth…
It must be at least 1/2 mile to get from the front of the convention center to the back of the center in 1 Hall. (North, South, Central Halls) Think, every electronic device, including sensors, batteries, wearable tech, robots, smart beds, sports equipment, toys, games, eyeglasses, smart TV’s, smart washing machines, smart kitchens, smart cars and smart health, smart toothbrushes and 3D Printers. There must have been over 500 companies just showing headphones, ear buds and cases, luggage.. An incredible sensory overload. My feet were-are dead and I was wearing convention shoes!
I went to check out the Smart Glasses from Epson, Lumus, Pivothead, Moverio, optic wash (eyeglass washing machine), Sony, Vuzix, Innovega (smart contact lens) XOeyetc, Glassup, Optinvent, Oculus.. the list goes on…
- By 2017 There will be 169.5 million wearable wireless devices on the market worldwide.
- About 1/2 of those devices will be health focussed.
- More than 52% of a survey takes said privacy or security of their personal data was of primary concern.
- One in three consumers say they have heard of wearable fitness trackers, and among those consumers 28 percent say they are likely to buy a device
- 29% of consumers are aware of smart glasses and among them, one-in-five say they expect to buy the device. Among early adopters, smart glass awareness is nearly 50%. Making and receiving calls (19 percent), browsing the web (19 percent), and taking photos and videos (19 percent) were most commonly cited by likely buyers as sought after features. (Source)
- Among consumers aware of smart glasses, 50% say the look/design of the device is extremely important to their decision to buy the device. Appearance is slightly less important for smart watches (42 percent) and much lower for fitness trackers (20 percent). (Source)
- By 2015 sales of 3D printed goods and services will hit $3.7 billion worldwide (Wohlers Associates)
- 3D printing will change the scope of all products and services from houses, to cars to sports to the optical industry. (More at CE.org/FiveTechs
- The First 3D printed Retina Cells have been done!
We are most likely aware of Google Glass and the applications it is being used for. The future is unlimited in this arena.. from augmented reality, GPS, tracking health and fitness, driving cars, reading email, watching videos, playing games. But most of the Smart Glasses are branching out into hands-free applications. Reading training manuals, doing things like defusing bombs (OK, how many times is that going to happen!), safety, enterprise related…..
I looked at Evena which is a wearable device that nurses and other medical professionals wear that read through the skin to find veins. They have already had calls from ophthalmologist and plastic surgeons who DO NOT want to find a vein in surgery. Images can also be transmitted to fundascopes and ophthalmoscopes. This is still in beta testing, but the applications for medical is huge.
Not only was The Vision Council there to educate on Digital Eye Strain, Joe Zewe from Eyenavision/Chemstrie went to talk about his Blue Light Frames and Lenses along with of course Chemistrie magnetic clips.
The question arises, is this an opportunity for eyecare professionals?
- Could you set up a Tech Center with such products as Vuzix, Pivothead? Moverio? If you think about it.. setting up a Tech Center will not only engage the patient and increase the talk factor. I mean who would not try them on? It opens up a new a new dimension and market and helps eyecare professionals be profitable.
- The use of Premium Lenses, tints and especially blue light.. every consumer should have at least one computer glass.
- Eye Yoga classes.. why not?
While I don’t see smart glasses going mainstream over the next year, they will get better looking, the technology will be better and the pricing will come down to be affordable. Something to think about.