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43 posts categorized "Eyewear"

December 15, 2014

Rationalising Intel’s Collaboration with Luxottica on Smart Glasses

Chloe WuAnalyst Insight by Chloe Wu - Personal Accessories and Eyewear Analyst

It has not been more than a year since Google Glass was first sold commercially to the public, and, despite an overall tepid reaction towards Google Glass, Luxottica is now forging ahead with yet another attempt at smart glasses.

This time, the eyewear juggernaut has teamed up with semiconductor giant Intel to produce smart eyewear. Essentially, Intel will provide engineering know-how, so that Luxottica can focus on industrial design, thereby keeping costs down and shortening the time to market.

Continue reading "Rationalising Intel’s Collaboration with Luxottica on Smart Glasses" »

November 27, 2014

Contact Lens Manufacturers Jumping on the Wearables Bandwagon

Chloe WuAnalyst Insight by Chloe Wu - Personal Accessories and Eyewear Analyst

As early as 2007, smart contact lenses had already caught the interest of medical and academic institutions.  Sensimed, a Swiss medical device company, developed a contact lens with embedded electronics that could monitor intraocular pressure continuously and non-invasively, as a measure of a patient’s blood glucose level. Academic institutions such as the École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne are following suit.

Developing smart contact lenses requires niche expertise from various disciplines, and thus was an unexplored area for contact lens manufacturers until 2014. In July 2014, Novartis joined hands with Google to develop both a glucose-detecting contact lens and one with auto focus functions for those with presbyopia. Other participants joining in the fray include contact lenses manufacturers, namely The Cooper Companies and Johnson & Johnson. In the past few months, Johnson & Johnson has been filing patents for developing smart contact lens, the most notable of which details a “removable media insert” in hydrogel lenses. This indicates a possible desire to bring down the cost of smart disposable lenses, which is necessary if Johnson and Johnson decides to market the smart lenses in consumer retail.

Continue reading "Contact Lens Manufacturers Jumping on the Wearables Bandwagon" »

October 31, 2014

Asia Pacific drives Global Cosmetic Lenses

Emi_globalLenses-v1.1

With the global society embracing individuality, image conscious consumers are increasingly experimenting with cosmetic contact lenses as a fashion accessory. Asia Pacific, namely the oriental countries such as Japan, Taiwan and China, are experiencing huge demand for cosmetic lenses. These consumers, mostly youths and the young working adults look to circle lenses (or limbal ring lenses) which allows for the appearance of a larger eye effect.

 

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September 2, 2014

Five Key Findings in Eyewear

Euromonitor International recently released 2014 data for our Passport: Eyewear research database. Watch the video to learn five key findings from our research.

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August 22, 2014

Why Cooper’s Latest Acquisition is Bigger than it Seems

Chloe WuAnalyst Insight by Chloe Wu - Personal Accessories and Eyewear Analyst

The Cooper Cos recently completed its acquisition of UK-based Sauflon Pharmaceuticals, a privately owned global manufacturer of contact lenses and aftercare solutions. The transaction, closed at US$1.2 billion, has generated a muted reaction. This is perhaps due to Sauflon being relatively under the radar, ranked 10th in global contact lens value sales with a market share of less than 5% in 2013. While the acquisition is not likely to change the global hierarchy, at a closer look, it signals a significant shift in competitive dynamics within the industry.

Competing in High-Growth Markets

Scanning the global landscape, the US has traditionally been the largest contact lens market, but it lags in growth when compared to other regions. Western Europe is forecast to be the fastest-growing region for contact lens value sales in 2014, which makes it an important market for contact lens players. Cooper, having acquired Sauflon, would now have a share of more than 10% in the daily disposable market in Western Europe. This puts it in third place behind heavyweights Johnson & Johnson and Novartis and also eliminates to some extent the rising competitive concerns that Cooper may have about Sauflon rapidly catching up with it in Europe.

Continue reading "Why Cooper’s Latest Acquisition is Bigger than it Seems" »

August 12, 2014

Will Google’s Smart Contact Lenses Take Off?

Chloe WuAnalyst Insight by Chloe Wu - Personal Accessories and Eyewear Analyst

Google is investing its money in a product that has a noble cause. It is developing contact lenses that would help diabetics track their blood glucose levels, and possibly another application of “accommodative vision correction”. This means that instead of switching between reading glasses and regular glasses, these lenses would adjust based on the reading distance. In comparison to the previously launched Google Glass, the smart contact lens is surely a more exciting and enabling product concept. Beyond its small form, it represents something much larger – the advancement of healthcare and miniaturisation of technology. While technology has been revolutionising eyewear in the form of gawky augmented reality glasses and wearable sensors (think Jins Meme glasses used to track user fatigue levels), contact lenses are finally joining in the digital fray.

Continue reading "Will Google’s Smart Contact Lenses Take Off?" »

July 8, 2014

Online Eyewear Retailers Move from Clicks to Bricks

Emily CoxAnalyst Insight by Emily Cox - Research Analyst

While it is more common in retail to see businesses establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence and then adding an online store, the Australian optical retail scene is moving in the opposite direction. Numerous online eyewear retailers are choosing to establish a physical presence to complement their online offerings and tap into new potential, in a move expected to put pressure on traditional optical stores.

Separation of the Eye Test from Eyewear Purchase

Traditionally, an eye examination would be followed by the purchase of suitable prescription spectacles at the same optical store. However, this is changing due to the increasing sophistication and functionality of online eyewear retailers, tied in with their value and convenience propositions. Consumers are now more likely to visit an optometrist for an eye test and then enter their prescription online to find fashionable frames at attractive prices. The purchase of eyewear online has achieved continuous growth in the Australian market, with the channel accounting for 6% of retail value sales in 2014, up by four percentage points over 2009-2014.

Online retailers benefit from a low-cost model and can offer significant discounts by cutting out the middleman. However, one hurdle is the inability to try before you buy. To overcome this, online eyewear retailers have expanded their capabilities to offer features such as virtual try-on, free home trial and free returns. Furthermore, multiple online eyewear retailers are establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence, allowing customers to have an eye test in-store and then experience the look and feel of products along with the human interaction that many desire.

Continue reading "Online Eyewear Retailers Move from Clicks to Bricks" »

June 12, 2014

The Shifting Competitive Landscape for Contact Lenses

 

Contact lenses, a category predominately led by pharmaceutical giants such as Johnson & Johnson and Novartis, are witnessing a competitive shift. Many smaller players, once held back by their operational size, are now attempting to break into the contact lens space. Spectacle companies Hoya, Zeiss and Essilor for example are testing market entry strategies for contact lenses. The segment should start to see many mergers, acquisitions and new product launches in the upcoming years.

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June 2, 2014

Private Label and In-House Eyewear Brands Growing in Popularity

Chloe WuAnalyst Insight by Chloe Wu - Personal Accessories and Eyewear Analyst

Private label and in-house brands in eyewear are hitting the right notes with today’s buyers. By taking on big names like Luxottica and Safilo for a share of consumers’ wallets, private label and in-house brands are opening the way to greater commoditisation in the market and a significant shift in competitive dynamics.

Traditional Focus versus a New Norm

Traditionally, eyewear of recognised brands such as Oakley and Revo has been the mainstay of optical shops. Consumers seek these established brands for quality assurance and less for their emotional appeal. Due to the oligopolistic nature of the eyewear market, prices are generally artificially inflated and lacking in transparency.

More recently, a new norm for eyewear has emerged. An impressive array of private label and in-house brands are making their debut, with creative marketing and simple pricing systems to boot.

Continue reading "Private Label and In-House Eyewear Brands Growing in Popularity" »

May 14, 2014

Google Glass in Eyewear – Impact on the Industry

MayLing_ThamAnalyst Insight by May Ling Tham - Global Head of Personal Accessories and Eyewear

View May Ling Tham's profile on LinkedIn

It is no secret that Google has ambitious plans for its wearable technology, Google Glass. In the first quarter of 2014, the company released a string of news stories on various collaborations, one with an eyewear manufacturer and another with a vision care provider. Google is set to popularise its wearable products from being ‘uber-geek’ items to products that the average person on the street can relate to and, more importantly, afford to purchase. Previously, we looked at the impact on consumers and society but in this opinion we look at the impact on the eyewear industry.

Getting the Right Formula

When Google first soft launched Google Glass in 2012, it generated significant excitement. While the product gained immediate fans, it also amassed a fair number of critics. One main gripe concerning explorer editions of the headset that was made available to interested buyers was that Glass looked geeky and unfashionable for daily wear.  Google’s plan to collaborate with Luxottica and VSP, as announced in the first quarter of 2014, was clearly a reaction to such feedback.

Continue reading "Google Glass in Eyewear – Impact on the Industry" »

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Recent Posts

Rationalising Intel’s Collaboration with Luxottica on Smart Glasses

Contact Lens Manufacturers Jumping on the Wearables Bandwagon

Asia Pacific drives Global Cosmetic Lenses

Five Key Findings in Eyewear

Why Cooper’s Latest Acquisition is Bigger than it Seems

Will Google’s Smart Contact Lenses Take Off?

Online Eyewear Retailers Move from Clicks to Bricks

The Shifting Competitive Landscape for Contact Lenses

Private Label and In-House Eyewear Brands Growing in Popularity

Google Glass in Eyewear – Impact on the Industry