By David Goldberg

The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed down some operations, but the leaders in lens production didn’t stop innovating.

Here’s a look at some of the most exciting lens technology advancements available for fall 2020.


With scratches and smudges frequently appearing on lenses, wearers feel like they’re constantly battling to keep their vision clear.

In September, Essilor launched the Crizal Rock coating that combines exceptional scratch resistance and easy cleaning with Crizal’s renowned UV protection and dust repellent.

“Innovation, a major strategic focus for Essilor, and its mission to improve lives by improving sight, are the motivation powering our R&D teams to develop even more effective products,” explains Martine Ahier, senior marketing manager, brands and products. “With Crizal Rock, we are going one step further, breaking one of the most common compromises in the anti-reflective coating industry: scratch resistance vs. smudge resistance.”

This technology combines specific oxides known for their dust, scratch and temperature resistant properties.

“To create innovative products,” adds Ahier, “we must also continually improve the processes. So a new rigorous test protocol, the Lifeproof multi-test, was developed to confirm these performances. It combines technical, real-life and torture tests to assess the resistance of a lens to wearers’ hectic lives.”


Hoya is touting its Super HiVision EX3+ as its most durable anti-reflective treatment with the highest scratch-resistance available, offering exceptional durability and making it even easier for the wearer to clean.

“Hoya is proud to effectively respond to the requests that patients have by providing an even better option than the most extreme AR treatment available on the market today that eye care providers and patients have come to expect,” says Ahmos Henry, president of Hoya Vision Care Canada.

When it comes to myopia control in young children, Hoya has launched MiyoSmart with D.I.M.S.(Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments). Studies conducted by Hoya claim that this lens can curb myopia progression in children by 60 per cent.

“This is the myopia management option that the Canadian industry has been waiting for,” says Henry. “And we are proud to provide such an effective treatment with award-winning technology that emphasizes Hoya’s leadership in the optical industry.”


Transitions is injecting new style colours into the breakthrough photochromic lens technology of Transitions Signature GEN 8 with four vibrant options including emerald, sapphire, amethyst and amber.

Customers can try on the colours from home with a new virtual tool available on the company’s website.

“We know how powerful it is when people have the opportunity to experience our lens Technology, and the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted that, with less opportunities for in-person eye care appointments,” says Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson, director of business development at Transitions.

Tremblay Dawson explains the GEN 8s are a perfect pick for the work-from-home crowd.

“They adapt seamlessly to any lighting and provide optimum vision and comfort anytime,” says Tremblay. “The lenses block at least 20 per cent of harmful blue light indoors and over 87 per cent of harmful blue light outdoors, helping to protect against harmful blue light from screens and digital devices on and off the clock.”


When it comes to protecting the eyes, nothing beats a polarized coating, but a lack of cool colours may have been pushing people away in the past.

Well now, Plastic Plus has a way to get the cool with the functionality of a Polarized Mirror Lens.

“People are looking for those fashion tints and while a simple tint looks great, you won’t get the same protection,” says Jason Faibish, vice-president of operations at Plastic Plus.

The Polarized Mirror Lens comes in 15 striking colours, including green mirror, sea mist and chrome.

The lenses are also stocked pre-coated, which means a quicker turnaround on prescription orders. 


Centennial is now offering Choice PhotoActiv photochromic lenses in 1.50 index and 1.67 high index, finished and semi-finished, single-vision lenses.

“PhotoActiv technology provides consistent performance in all climates and seasons, and the lenses provide 100 per cent protection from UVA and UVB rays,” according to Rick Leroux, Centennial’s director of marketing and communications (lenses).

Another intriguing option is Centennial’s topcoat Silk, which is now an enhancement option to Kodak Clean and Clear UV anti-reflective coating.

Leroux says the Silk coating makes cleaning lenses easier than ever.

“The ultra-slick lens surface repels water, dirt, dust, fingerprints and oily smudges better than ever. A contact angle of 115°+ causes contaminants to slide or bounce off the smooth surface.

Silk also improves scratch and abrasion resistance by 50 per cent.”