By Denis Langlois

2020 will long be remembered as the year that was dramatically impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In what was supposed to be an exciting year for eye care practices – as many planned to take advantage of the marketing potential of 20/20 vision in 2020 – ended up being one marked by mandatory clinic and optical shop closures and other measures aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

However, there have been many bright spots to wrap up the year.

Companies have won awards, launched innovative items and released studies confirming the effectiveness or popularity of their eye care products.

To wrap up 2020 in a positive light, here are some of the exciting things that have happened in the latter part of this unpredictable year.


HOYA Vision Care’s MiYOSMART lens, launched in Canada this summer, earned top prize in the vision category at the highly regarded Silmo d’Or Awards at the recent Silmo Paris Optical Fair.

The spectacle lens was developed to address and manage myopia in children.

The MiYOSMART lens, an easy to use, non-invasive treatment to control myopia, has been shown to slow the progress on average by 60 per cent, based on results from a two-year clinical trial published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

“It is an honour to be recognized by our peers receiving the Silmo d’Or Award for our ground-breaking MiYOSMART lens, which is successfully managing and controlling myopia in children,” says Alexandre Montague, CEO of HOYA Vision Care.


Eco Eyewear’s Recycled collection has received the distinction of a Special Mention in excellent product design from the 2021 German Design Awards.

The award recognizes consistent design conception and implementation.

The German Design Awards are the international premiere prize of the German Design Council and are one of the most renowned and competitive design awards in the world.

Eco uses recycled and bio-based materials in its frames and plants one tree for every one frame purchased.


Marchon Eyewear and Converse, the iconic American footwear and apparel brand, have entered into an exclusive, long-term global licensing agreement, with a plan to roll out new sun and optical collections starting in January.

Eyewear styles will feature recognizable motifs and design elements such as the “All Star” patch and “Star Chevron” logo.

With a classic yet modern approach, the eyewear assortment addresses adults and teens with 16 sunglasses and 43 optical styles at compelling price points. Customers can expect to see a mix of classic and trend-right shapes with the brand’s unique colour palettes and design features that will be familiar to the avid Converse fan. The brand targets all genders and ages 12 to 35, but truly resonates around the world and across generations.

“We look forward to designing unique eyewear collections which will embody Converse’s style and authenticity, while also being a part of the brand’s growth and continued legacy,” said Nicola Zotta, president and CEO of Marchon Eyewear.


A new study by Transitions Optical found 89 per cent of consumers prefer Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses over premium clear lenses and 82 per cent would recommend the lenses to others.

The study used in-lab and in-life testing methods. Participants were given two eyeglasses with the same frames. One had premium clear lenses and the other Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses.

Results of in-lab testing found: in indoor light situations, Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses provide excellent vision just like the clear lens; outside, in bright sunlight, people rated their vision experience much higher with Transitions Signature GEN 8; and in changing and intermediate lights, Transitions Signature GEN 8 makes a noticeable difference with Transitions lens wearers declaring seeing better than with the premium clear lenses.

During the in-life testing, participants were asked to experience both pairs in their day-to-day life for seven days each. Results found: 69 per cent of people reported a better vision experience wearing Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses, with only 14 per cent preferring their experience with clear lenses; 69 per cent perceived better protection with Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses versus only five per cent with clear lenses; 64 per cent preferred the way they look when wearing Transitions Signature GEN 8 lenses.


CooperCompanies, along with its CooperVision and CooperSurgical divisions, has been named one of Fortune’s Best Large Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production.

“Being included on Fortune’s Best Large Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production List is a testament to our outstanding employees,” said president and CEO Albert White. “For both CooperVision and CooperSurgical, our manufacturing and production teams are the backbone of the businesses, ensuring we produce, maintain and deliver our products around the globe. In many ways, this award highlights the team effort across the organization from the products that our R+D teams invent and study, our M+A team’s purchase, our marketing teams promote and our sales representatives sell.”


Facebook and EssilorLuxottica have announced a multi-year collaboration to develop the next generation of smart glasses.

The partnership will combine Facebook apps and technologies, Luxottica’s category leadership and iconic brands and Essilor’s advanced lens technology to help people stay better connected to their friends and family.

The first product will be branded Ray-Ban, the world’s most popular eyewear brand, and is scheduled to launch in 2021.


EnChroma, Inc., creators of EnChroma Eyewear for colour blindness and the EnChroma Lx Series Lenses for low vision and age-related eye conditions, has been named the winner of the Innovation Award in the Life Sciences category by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.

“Over 200 organizations submitted applications for the eighth annual East Bay Innovation Awards, which showcase the best examples of innovation in the Bay Area,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director, EDA. “EnChroma really stood out due to its pioneering work to help the colour blind surmount daily frustrations and expand their opportunities to access more of life’s colourful experiences.”