Vantage is first lens to make variable polarization a reality

April 1, 2012

Transitions Optical is describing its new Transitions Vantage lenses as a game changer in the photochromics industry.

From Staff Reports-Transitions Optical is describing its new Transitions Vantage lenses as a game changer in the photochromics industry.

Vantage is the first lens to provide variable polarization. Not only do the lenses adjust from clear to dark as UV exposure increases, such as in the traditional Transitions lenses, but they also change from non-polarized to polarized to reduce the amount of horizontal glare that reaches the eye. Both the tint and the polarization fade as the lenses are removed from UV light.

Traditional Transitions lenses utilize pho-tochromic molecules that darken in random patterns to create an even tint. The new technology in Vantage lenses darkens and aligns the molecules in a specific pattern to create a level of polarization that is appropriate for the light conditions. Until now, polarization has only been available as a fixed film in sunglasses lenses.

"This is the only everyday lens that addresses all of these types of glare," he said.

All angles covered

By addressing the amount, direction, and color of light that enters the eye, the lens delivers a high level of comfort for patients. Many patients perceive the lenses to be darker than Transitions VI lenses, although they actually are not.

"No one else has a product like this," Ligas said. "It is a whole new category of lenses."

Vantage was announced in January in Orlando at Transitions Academy, the company's annual event for industry professionals. It will be available to eye-care professionals (ECPs), exclusively in grey but in a variety of materials and designs, in May.

The company launched a Web site ( http://Vantage.com/) with information on the lenses in March. Professionals who take a brief quiz at the site can request free support materials and demonstration tools.

Ligas said that patients who are most likely to be interested in the Vantage lens are those who want a daily lens that delivers clear, sharp, outdoor vision as they move through different environments during their day. They do not want to fumble with changing in and out of sunglasses.

Patients who already use photochromics will be especially good candidates since they already know about the benefits, he said, adding that patients who like to be at the forefront of new technology will be interested as well.

Seeing is believing

Since the lens' value can be demonstrated easily for patients, clear lens wearers will also readily understand the capabilities of this lens, which, like other Transitions lenses, will carry a premium price tag.

"Patients don't have to just hear about it. They can see it for themselves," Ligas said.

He added that the 1,300 ECPs in attendance at Transitions Academy were very interested in learning more.

"There was intense excitement," he said.

Ligas told Optometry Times that the idea for the Vantage lens was first conceived in the late 1990s, and a team was dedicated to its development starting in 2003.

At Transitions Academy, he told the attendees "variable polarization is what's next in a history of firsts that Transitions Optical has brought to the industry.

"In the past, the only photochromic variable was clear to dark. Transitions Vantage lenses not only break the paradigm that tint is the only photochromic variable, but they also challenge conventional thinking that a clear lens can't become polarized and a polarized lens can't become clear. We're quite literally making the impossible possible," Ligas said.