Our natural feeling is that our minds are like a mirror on which light falls – that we simply perceive the world as it is. For a long time, philosophers and scientists thought along similar lines. In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant introduced the idea that there is a stage between what our eyes and ears pick up and what we perceive; that while we depend on sensory data for our knowledge, we make sense of its profusion and confusion by relying on in-built mental categories. But it took scientists science some time scientists to catch up with Kant; in classical physiology up until the twentieth century, visual images fell upon the optic nerve, and that was that. Freud suspected that the function of receiving sensory signals and registering them were separate, though he had no strong evidence for it at the time. We now know that the brain does indeed do a lot of work to make reality comprehensible- that the world as scanned by our eyes is rather different from the world we see. Your brain “serves up a story to you”. In a sense, deception begins the moment you open your eyes. (Ian Leslie “BORN LIARS”)
If you stare at a fixed point in space, like a dot on the wall in front of you, everything to the left of the do is projected to the right half of your brain, and vice versa. each hemisphere receives nerve transmissions from the opposite leg and arm and picks up sound from the opposite ear. Nobody knows why, they just do.
Your eyes don’t have enough neuronal receptors to capture a whole property, so pupils dance frantically around as they try to bring the sharper region of focus to bear every part of the room, a movement known as the saccade. Yet you have the illusion of continuous, coherent vision.
The brain ‘actively creates pictures of the world’. Rather than trying to interpret every new thing it sees as if encountering it for the first time, the brain makes series of working assumptions about what a chair looks like, or a person, and where object going to be, then makes predictions about- best guesses- about what’s before us. It compares its expectations with the new information coming in, checks for mistakes, and revises accordingly. The result is ‘a fantasy that collides with reality’.
Last week, the Sustainable Business Awards, organized by the third time in Singapore chose lens manufacturer Essilor as the award winner in the new category, “UN Sustainable Development Goals” in recognition of its contributions to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, Essilor received praise for reducing its environmental footprint, caring for its employees’ health and safety, promoting diversity, supporting education and ensuring responsible consumption and production.
To understand why this award is so significant, you have to understand a bit about Singapore and its values. Singapore is the capital of the country with the same name and it lies at the southern tip of a peninsula that juts into the South China Sea just north of the equator. Its tropical location is a big plus, but what makes the city unique is the way its green policies have transformed this densely populated urban local. It could be a typical dirty, crowded big city, but instead, it is graced by parks and gardens that provide a home for exquisite tropical flora. The city has instituted policies to support the environment, including beefing up public transportation, installing systems to catch and use rain water and retrofitting thousands of buildings to meet green standards.
A stunning example of how artistic design and eco-innovation come together in this city is the “Supertree Grove” located within the Gardens by the Bay. The “trees” are playful sculptures that support photovoltaic cells (informally called “solar panels”) and the “grove” is accessible to visitors via an elevated walkway that provides breathtaking views of the park and surrounding area. The energy collected by the cells lights the gardens at night while captured rainwater irrigates the gardens – a veritable beacon of green design.
If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with the city, consider the fact that it is gaining a reputation – second only to Japan – as a “design destination”. This is not serendipity. The city leadership actively promotes design innovation by encouraging enterprise in this sector and sponsoring events like Singapore Design Week and Sustainable Business Awards, Singapore.
In accepting the award, Essilor executives pointed out that they see their mission as addressing the most widespread disability in the world: poor vision. Shockingly, 80% of impaired vision is treatable and yet this remains the greatest disability globally. Essilor’s efforts to address the issue through The Essilor Vision Foundation include vision screening events, donations of lenses and frames, and media campaigns to raise awareness, as well as support to local nonprofits with similar programs.
When you choose which lenses to purchase for your glasses, of course you want crystal-clear vision, but wouldn’t it be great if your purchase also could contribute to protecting the environment and helping people who live below the poverty line? Well, with Essilor, you can have it all!
Providence Optical proudly offers Essilor products to suit all our clients’ vision needs.
About Essilor International :
The world leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs and manufactures a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. Its the most known brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Xperio®, Foster Grant®. It employs 64,000 people and worldwide, markets its products in more than a 100 countries and has 33 plants, 5 research and development centers (including Essilor Innovation and Technology Center in Singapore), 490 prescriptions laboratories.
On August 23′ 2017 Essilor was named by Forbes as one of 100 of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies” for 2017.Essilor has first earned a spot in this prestigious list in 2010 and has been ranked every year ever since among the world 100 publicly traded companies identified by investors featuring the best innovation potential now and in the future.
The current swirl of controversy over the question of whether access to restrooms and shower facilities should be based on a person’s birth gender or current gender identity brings to the fore a trend that the fashion industry has increasingly embraced over the past few years: gender neutrality. Also called gender fluid, no gender or bi-gender, this trend embraces the concept that a person’s choice of clothing and accessories should be based on what looks good and feels right, not which department displays the apparel.
Back in March 2015, the British retailer Selfridges took a bold step in dismantling its men’s and women’s department for six weeks, replacing both with a unified department it called “Agender” that offered clothing, beauty products and accessories. This mirrors a trend on the catwalks where male and female models wear fashions of their own and the opposite gender, and fashion shows are increasingly combined to display men’s and women’s clothing together and interchangeably.
A Little History
This trend is not as new as it may seem. European women “stole” the fashion of high-heeled shoes from men way back in the 17th century and, at the same time, cut their hair short, wore men’s style hats and added military elements, such as epaulettes, to their outfits as a fashion statement.
Fast forward to the 1920s and we find the “la garconne” look – women’s clothing with a distinctive masculine edge that freed women from the bondage of corsets and layered petticoats. This was women’s liberation on both the physical and psychological levels!
Half a century later, Diane Keaton rocked the grown-up tomboy look in the movie the 1977 film Annie Hall and singer/song writer David Bowie was famous for his androgynous look in the same era. Jean-Paul Gaultier pushed boundaries even farther by releasing a line of men’s skirts in 1985. Calvin Klein grounded the movement with unisex clothing lines in the 1990s.
Japanese or Korean designers innately have sense transgender fashion. Remember Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Gentle Monster…
Not the Same Thing as Unisex
The gender neutral concept is a step forward from unisex. It’s not about a garment or accessory styled for both genders. It’s a shirt, coat, or eyeglass frame that speaks for itself and refuses to be limited by gender. The focus is on the object itself and that breaks down gender barriers.
The eyewear industry was ahead of the rest of the fashion world with its debut of the “geek chic” look nearly a decade ago and the concurrent revival of vintage styles that gave young women “permission” to wear replicas of their grandfathers’ glasses. Since then, sleeker lines, bold colors and revolutionary materials have made gender boundaries irrelevant in eyewear fashion. Wear what looks good on you and expresses your unique fashion sense!
Collection 2016 by students of Rhode Island School of Design Fred Mezidor, Adam Blake and Jacob Valencia:
University of Westminister fashion show 2017:1. Elliot Kinney / 2. Jasper McGilvray / 3. Nicholas Yip / 4. Lloyd Husband
Series of photos FASHION HAS NO FACE, NO GENDER, NO RULES. Photographer Nicholas Kristiansen: “Diversity to me is the concept of being whoever you want, I wanted to use male and female models that you couldn’t identify the gender of make the idea of gender roles less significant”.
Le Trinocle is a unique accessory, joining a binocle, a mirror and a magnifying glass, ready to be combined as you wish, thanks to the included magnets. Handmade in Paris, using genuine cow leather, Le Trinocle is available in 5 colors. Playful, modular and multipurpose, it’s an exceptional piece, redefining what eyewear accessories can be. Combine at will !
Available at Providence Optical as special request.
The box jellyfish has 24 eyes, which are dark brown and grouped into four clusters called rhopalia. Four of the six eyes in each rhopalium are simple light-detecting slits and pits. But the other two are very sophisticated. They have light-focusing lenses and can see images, albeit at a lower resolution.The box jelly fish uses its lower lensed eyes to spot approaching obstacles, like the mangrove roots that it swims among. The upper lensed eyes serve as a free-floating weight at the bottom of the rhopalium that ensures that the upper eye is always looking forward, even if the jellyfish swims upside down. If this eye detects dark patches, the jellyfish senses that it’s swimming beneath the mangrove canopy, where it can find the small crustaceans that it eats. If it sees only bright light, it has strayed into open water, and risks starving. With the help of its eyes, this brainless blob can find food, avoid obstacles, and survive.
The box jellyfish’s eyes are part of an almost endless variation of eyes in the animal kingdom. Some see only in black and white , others perceive the full rainbow and beyond, to forms of light invisible to our eyes. Some can’t even gauge the direction of incoming light; others can spot running prey miles away. The smallest animal eyes, adorning the heads of fairy wasps, are barely bigger than an amoeba; the biggest are the size of dinner plates, and belong to gigantic squid species.
The squid’s eye, like ours, works as a camera does, with a single lens focusing light onto a single retina, full of photo-receptors-cells that absorb photons and convert their energy into an electrical signal.
By contrast, a fly’s compound eye divides incoming light among thousands of separate units, each with its own lens and photoreceptors. Human, fly, and squid eyes are mounted in pairs on their owners’ head. But scallops have rows of eyes along their mantles, sea stars have eyes on the tips of their arms, and the purple sea urchin’s entire body acts as one big eye. There are eyes with bifocal lenses, eyes with mirrors, and eyes that look up, down, and sideways all at the same time.
Eyes are tailored to the needs of their users. A sea star’s eyes – one on the tip of each arm – can’t see color, fine details or fast-moving objects; they would send an eagle crashing into a tree. Then again, a sea star isn’t trying to spot and snag a running rabbit. It merely needs to spot coral reefs. Its eyes can do that; it has no need to evolve anything better. The human eye is reasonably fast, adept at detecting contrast, and surpassed in resolution only by birds of prey. Insect eyes have a much faster temporal resolution, two flies will chase each other at enormous speed and see up to 300 flashes of light a second. We are lucky to see 50″. A dragon-fly’s eye gives it almost complete wraparound vision; our eyes do not.
And the elephant hawk moth has eyes so sensitive that it can still see colors by starlight. In some ways we’re better, but in many ways , we’re worse. There ‘s no eye that does it all better. Our camera eyes have their own problems. For example, our retinas are bizarrely built back to front. That’s why we have a blind spot. There ‘s no benefit to these flaws; they’re just quirks of our evolutionary history. Our brains can fill in the missing details in our blind spots but some problems we can’t avoid. Our retinas can sometimes peel away from the underlying tissue, leading to blindness, that would never happen if the neurons sat behind the photoreceptors, anchoring them in place. This more sensible design exists in the camera eyes of octopuses and squid. An octopus doesn’t have a blind spot. It never gets a detached retina. We do, because evolution doesn’t work to a plan. It meanders mindlessly, improvising as it goes.
Most birds and reptiles see color with four types of cone photoreceptors, each carrying an opsin that’s tuned into a different color. But mammals evolved from a nocturnal ancestor that had lost two of these cones, presumably because color vision is less important at night and because cones are most effective in bright daylight. Most mammals are still saddled with these losses, and see the world through limited palette. Dogs have just two cones, one tuned to blue and the other to red. Marine mammals dispensed the blue cone when they became aquatic. Many whales lost the red cone too. They have only rod photoreceptors-excellent for seeing in the deep ocean darkness but useless for seeing color.
The mantis shrimp’s eyes have three separate regions that focus on the same narrow strip of space, providing depth perception without help from the other eye. They can also see ultraviolet parts of the spectrum that are invisible to us, and polarized light that vibrates in a single plane. And while we have three kinds of color receptors in our retinas, mantis shrimp have 12 each tuned to a different color.
Article by Ed Yong for National Geographic – Published January 14th, 2016.
Eyes: more than what you see
The difference between a freeform (also called digital) and a standard lens is essentially the same as the difference between off-the-rack and tailored clothing. Both start with a product made for the “average person”. But there is no such thing as an average person. So, the item must be adjusted to fit precisely. For an important occasion, like a wedding, we have our clothing adjusted for the optimal fit. This is exactly what freeform lenses do for your eyes. The big difference is that you may wear that fancy tailored outfit only once, while you’ll wear your glasses every day.
Lens Distance — It Varies
If you think about your eye moving behind the lens of your eyeglasses, you’ll realize that the lens is farthest from your eye along the edges and is closest in the middle, where the lens is directly in front of your eye. That variation in distance is unique to each person, depending on the size of your eyes, the shape of your face and how the frame sits on you. The tilt of the frame and its shape also alter the distance between your eye and the lens at different points. A generic lens blank cannot accommodate these variations. This means that you are likely to experience distortion as your eye moves within the frame unless the lens is customized to account for these unique variables.
Progressive lenses present an additional challenge because the lens also has to change in power from the top portion (where you look straight ahead for distance) to the bottom edge of the lens, where the power is higher for your reading prescription. For the most comfortable and sharp vision correction, you need a smooth transition with the cleanest curves and the least amount of peripheral distortion.
Customizing Options — Not All Are Equal
There are a variety of ways to achieve a tailored lens fit. Some, of course, are better than others. They all created of chunky lens blank, but on different equipment. Here’s a quick look:
- Conventional/Traditional (K, J Options for VSP Customers): After your optician tries the frame on you and takes the measurements, the customized changes are ground onto the front of the lens and the lens is then polished. This is the least expensive option, but it has significant shortcomings. The grinding and polishing processes cause friction, which heats up the lens, causing it to warp slightly and creating distortion. This process is the least accurate, so it creates the greatest area of “swim” in your peripheral vision, which causes some people to experience dizziness. In addition, placing the customized adjustment on the front of the lens puts the correction farther away from your eye, so your eyes have to work harder to bring the world into focus.
- Digital (F option for VSP): This process utilizes a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tool – the same high tech instrument used for creating precision parts for the aviation industry. Your unique measurements are fed into the the computer that controls the machine tool, so the adjustments are very precise, creating a smooth, comfortable curve. The adjustments are made to both the front and back of the lens and there is no vibration, which can lead to distortion. Because the process is so precise, very little polishing is needed. The lenses stay at room temperature and do not warp. We recommend this option for progressives and for single vision lenses with high prescription or high astigmatism.
- Total Customization (O, N Options for VSP): This option, which only costs an additional $10 for VSP customers, involves additional measurements, including the tilt of the frame you have selected, how it wraps around your face and the distance from your eye (cornea) to the back of the lens. The goal is to create multiple optical centers so they can “follow” your eye movements. (Think honeycomb pattern). It will give you stability switching between different frames and comfort of reading (by eliminating an image displacement). This option gives you very precise, accurate visual correction, even in your periphery.
Titanium is named for the Titans – the race of giant gods that preceded the famous Greek gods of Mount Olympus –a name reflecting this metal’s super-hero strength. Ready to be impressed? Titanium’s melting point is 3020 degrees Fahrenheit and its boiling point is 5949 degrees Fahrenheit. Whoa! That’s one strong metal!
Because of this strength, its resistance to corrosion and because it is inert – meaning it doesn’t react with other substances – titanium is used for everything from spacecraft and missile parts to hip joints and dental implants. You can see why it’s an awesome material for eyeglass frames.
Staying in Shape
Titanium is way stronger than steel, but it’s almost half as light. This means that, unlike other metal frames, titanium frames don’t get bent out of shape (pun intended). They stay comfortable and you don’t have to keep running to the optical office for adjustments (though we are always happy to see you!). Honestly, you can even fall asleep and roll over on top of them and they probably won’t need adjusting. That’s pretty impressive!
Avoiding the Yuck Factor
Metal frames made of other materials are subject to corrosion. Friction as the temples move with your face, combined with perspiration, can provoke a reaction with the copper or nickel in a metal alloy frame, causing a green salt to leach out. This can literally leave a green line on either side of your face. Ewww!
Titanium frames, however, do not corrode, so you never have to worry about looking like you have a tattoo gone bad on your face.
Also, titanium is hypoallergenic and contains no nickel, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or irritation.
Fashion and Function
Modern techniques have brought a new range of beautiful colors to the world of titanium frames. The superior strength of this metal also means that it can be formed into shapes with crisp, clean edges and sleek lines. We think you’ll love the lightweight feel and superior design. They cost a little more than metal alloys, but the comfort and durability are well worth it.
BLACKFIN titanium booth took first prize at optical trade fair in Milan, Italy in 2015.
Etnia Barcelona Vintage Collection is a tribute to independent culture. The Vintage collection is composed of 15 sun and prescription models that incorporate metal and original acetates from the seventies (recovered from the Mazzucchelli factories), into which they inject their own signature: colour. Etnia’s Barcelona’s Vintage collection blends classic style with the spirit of the brand, always with exquisite attention to every detail.
The collection is made up of 15 colours inspired by the history of eyeglasses for the base of the frame. Dark colours like brown, glass or honey are combined to imitate tortoise shells. Colours known internationally as “havanas”, “tortoise” or “carey”. These dark colours are combined with acetates and metals that the Etnia Barcelona design team has created for the insides of the frames, giving us a glimpse of dozens of ethnic patterns in textures like stripes, herringbones and horns.
Vintage acetates meets ethnic acetates.
Etnia Barcelona wanted to combine a classic look with the spirit of the brand. The Vintage collection displays their ethnic identity on the inside of the frame. This collection was designed to create a vital connection with the person wearing the glasses. This connection is based on the acetates that Etnia Barcelona has designed to dress up the inner surface of the temples. A dozen ethnic colours were designed based on herringbones, stripes and horn textures. The lamination created by Etnia Barcelona makes it possible to glimpse the interior colour of the frame on the temple tips.
Top quality vintage lenses.
The Vintage collection uses mineral lenses also created in the seventies, always by Barberini. By selecting more than 17 types of lenses that fit the vintage aesthetic while at the same time providing maximum eye protection thanks to their special properties.
The Etnia Barcelona Vintage collection is full of details. The metal core of the frames was designed with Art Nouveau motifs by the brand’s design team. This metal temple rod can be glimpsed inside the acetate and is the core that structures the frame and connects with the hinge that joins the front to the temple. This decoration of the metal rods was engraved with a laser to achieve high precision in the lines of the motif.
Vintage-inspired shapes reworked.
We have reworked forms based on vintage trends and styles to create a collection that fuses the brand’s spirit with old-school style.
The Vintage collection is inspired by cultural and intellectual movements, and everything that ventures off the well-worn path to create a culture of independence.
And so, when it came time to name the models in this collection, we looked for places impregnated with culture and creativity. It’s an homage to these neighbourhoods and their inhabitants.
Each model takes its name from a historic neighborhood in a major world city, known for the cultural movements that started there and defined each of them.
Since everyone is welcome to visit State Optical’s facilities to see eyewear manufacturing, we decided to visit the factory, located in suburb of Chicago, in July 2016. It was an incredible experience. We love the building’s picturesque location and its modern interior design, which includes an upcoming interior basketball court.
Skilled workers,or craftsmen wear t-shirts with the logo IEM—Independent Eyewear Manufacturing. Craftsmen in training, however, don’t have the right to wear the shirt. They have to earn it. Jason and Marc do the training and it takes about six months for a typical craftsman to come up to full speed. Why? Because over 50% of State’s acetate frame production is done by hand and it takes an average of 70 different steps to make a basic acetate frame.
IEM uses a total of 60 pieces of equipment and 42 of them are brand new. Of all of these, the team is the most proud of the state-of-the-art factory Computer Numerically Controlled, or CNC machine, which cuts the front of the frames. It is one of the most high tech eyewear manufacturing pieces of equipment in the world. Only two such machines exist and both are at IEM facilities. One of them has been named “MASON” after Marc and Jason. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment.
Watch the video, there Scott shares the dream about making things in America:
Read full story on State Optical in our May 2016 blog.