It's Jetsons!

Technology-driven change has been impacting the optical field for years. From smartphone autorefractors to Optos imaging, it’s “out with the old and in with the new!” But despite the onward March of new tech, the ins and outs of choosing and fitting frames has hardly been impacted. Sure, virtual try on (VTO) frame eval technology popped up, but it has also popped back. It appears that it was safe to say that the gold standard of in-person try on, consultation and frame fitting would never be surpassed.

Until now.

A few months ago, I was granted the privilege of being fitted with a new frame technology made by Roger Bacon Eyewear of The Netherlands. Here’s how it went:

  1. First my head was scanned using an iPad featuring proprietary 3D scanning software. With the iPad in hand, I was scanned by making several figure 8s: Up, around, across, down and behind my head. 90 seconds later, a high resolution, full color 3D image of my head appeared on the iPad’s screen. “That’s me!” I exclaimed while noting my bald spot few ever see because of my height.
  2. Next, I choose a frame from one of the initial 5 styles offered. I selected one closest to fitting my face as adjusting lens size was not an option in version 1.0. I also selected a nice textured blue color from a palette that also included green, burgundy, grey and black.
  3. Finally the man from Roger Bacon asked me to face him, and he snapped a photo. Not just any photo, but one which all the standard and advanced fitting measurements were taken, including PD, height, Panto, wrap and vertex distance.

I supplied my current Rx, specified the material and treatments desired for progressives, and promptly forgot about it. Weeks later, I was contacted by the new distribution agent for North America, Joe Zewe, who advised my frame had arrived from Roger Bacon. Joe’s lab would make the lenses, and he wanted to know if I wanted to supply or review the measurements the app had taken. “No” I responded. “Go with the app’s values.”

A week later my new Roger Bacon Eyewear arrived. I took it out of the box and put it on.

WHAM! They fit. And near perfectly.

I decided right then to not fiddle or try to adjust them. I would simply wear them as they arrived. And I wouldn’t inspect them or verify them with instrumentation. I would do my evaluation completely by the seat of my pants. Here’s my report:

  1. Fit – Temple bend and mastoid shaping near perfect. Bridge fit is ever so slightly wide, but the natural texture of the frame material provided compensatory friction which easily held them in place for a slip-free fit.
  2. Vision – In a word: Amazing! The only nit I can pick is that the OD channel is slightly more nasal than I like. Otherwise height is terrific!

Oh, did I forget to mention that the frame was 3D printed exactly to the contours of my head, including different length-to-bend for each temple? Remember, this whole process did not really require a skilled optician’s input. Scary. And this in only version 1.0! Take a look at the accompanying pics and see for yourself.