Essilor to test the performance of its lenses in the Canadian Arctic

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Essilor, the world leader in corrective lenses, announces its first Extreme Testing project, launched with the participation of French scientist and adventurer Eric Brossier. Brossier, who crosses the Canadian Arctic on the scientific observation vessel the Vagabond, lives under extreme light and weather conditions with his family, often facing freezing temperatures (-40°c), harsh winds, and periods of midnight sun and polar night.
Live-test research to see better in the harshest of conditions: the Far North Over a period of 4 months, Brossier and his family will carry out a number of tests using a total of 12 highperformance Essilor eyewear, both for indoor and outdoor. Amongst the panel of products selected for this test: Xperio polarising lenses for clarity of vision and reduction of bright light and glare as well as antifatigue lenses, to relax eyes adjustment, as Eric and his family have to undergo long hours of vision with only artificial and dim light during the 24 hour night period.
His findings – in the harshest of light conditions and weather environments – will allow Essilor to even further improve its high-performance lenses, and help achieve its mission of providing better vision to as many people as possible.
Extreme Testing is inspired by Essilor’s “Live Optics” approach, which systematically applies four key steps during product conception to ensure wearers’ satisfaction before it is launched on the market, including human research, modelling, prototyping and lab measurement, and live testing. All Essilor lenses benefit from the “Approved by wearers” label endorsed by independent third parties. Brossier’s research in the Canadian Arctic will serve as the ultimate user test in Essilor’s long history of live testing, allowing to validate existing technologies in extreme conditions and to help identify new improvement areas.
Essilor Extreme Testing by a modern science adventurer
Educated as an engineer and having worked in geophysics, Brossier has been at sea on the Vagabond for nearly 13 years with his family –wife and two daughters aged 6 and 3-, welcoming marine biologists, oceanographers, glaciologists, geologists and geophysicists to carry out observations and scientific research on the travelling platform at sea. Brossier himself observes weather conditions from the Vagabond, connected with the global system of weather satellite data, and transmits data in real-time to support other scientists.
Brossier first crossed paths with Essilor during a chance meeting with Essilor’s Chairman and CEO Hubert Sagnières during a trip to Canada. Learning about Brossier’s intriguing daily life and scientific research, which poses difficult challenges to vision, Sagnières and the Essilor team came up with the idea for this first-of-its-kind research project.
“Eric Brossier is a modern-day adventurer, and the uniqueness of his daily routine is not only fascinating, but of high interest for Essilor and the consumers who count on us to provide the highest-quality corrective lenses, no matter the circumstances,” said Eric Thoreux, President, Sun and Readers Division of Essilor.
“From bright sun rays reflecting off of snow and ice, to blinding differences in light between the interior of the Vagabond and the freezing Far North, to dim and artificial light conditions during 24-hours night period, the research provided by Eric Brossier and the Extreme Testing will be an invaluable resource in providing better vision for all.”
“I’m looking forward to undertaking this project with Essilor, as seeing better is important for everyone, everyday to live better,” said Eric Brossier. “The rather extraordinary conditions under which my family and I live justify wearing high-performance glasses, as in our daily life close to the North Pole seeing well is staying safe. Through our tests, I look forward to helping improve not just my own vision and that my family, but also of individuals around the world.”
Follow Eric Brossier’s live-test adventures on his Essilor blog

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