Last July, an Israeli tech company, DeepOptics, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to support the launch of 32°N sunglasses, which utilize a novel technology the company calls “adaptive focus.” (see 32°N section on page 82) The sunglasses, the first of their kind, dynamically correct for reading while serving as functional sunglasses.

“We received thousands of responses from people, in addition to 1,200 backers that supported the crowd funding project over the one-month period of the campaign,” said Yariv Haddad, the CEO and founder of DeepOptics, whose investors include EssilorLuxottica and Samsung Ventures.

“Some were excited about the concept and mentioned how much they needed it, some requested more frame designs, and there were many questions about range of prescriptions, astigmatism, and other vision conditions. Many suggested that we integrate ‘Transition’-like lenses to allow indoor use as well, and also headphones so they can use the glasses to listen to music or talk on the phone.”

Haddad noted that the most common request from consumers was for an Rx version (far vision correction) of 32°N. “This was somewhat surprising to us, as we assumed that the bigger demand would come from people who only use reading glasses. We’re now working on the development of such a version that we can offer to myopic and hyperopic people. This is planned to be ready for next year. There was also excitement around the embedded technology, and requests for a transparent frame version, such that the internal components are visible,” he added.

Since the launch, DeepOptics has added new features to the glasses mobile app. “We found that people love the fact that they do not need to know their IPD or prescription, and we’re implementing app features to determine these and guide the users in personalizing the glasses to their ophthalmic needs,” Haddad told VM. The company is working on new frame styles and sizes to be available later this year and next year.

Haddad said DeepOptics is also developing an Rx sunglass version of 32°N which it plans to introduce early next year. The product after that would have two significant features: clear lenses, for indoor and normal light outdoor use, and lenses with active power that would change automatically and continuously, providing a seamless experience.

“Our goal is for the wearer to have the visual experience of a younger, non-presbyopic person. They would see things clearly and in focus all the time without the need to actively control the glasses or to limit their gaze to certain areas of the lens depending on their distance of interest,” said Haddad.