The future of eyewear is here thanks to Toronto-based Specsy.
The innovative, technology-driven company, which formed just a couple of years ago, was the first to bring multi-colour 3D printed eyewear to the marketplace.
Using Specsy’s retail-ready app that features 3D face-scanning and augmented reality capabilities, eye care professionals can design, in-store, truly one-of-a-kind eyeglasses that
match each patient’s aesthetic preferences, like for colour, design and shape, and technical requirements, such as dimensions for bridges and temples.
The frames are then created using a state-of-the-art 3D printer. Specsy printed its first pair of frames in November 2016, utilizing the expertise it gained through affiliate company Canaray, which operates a leading 3D printing facility for dental implant surgical guides.
Earlier this year, the company announced the launch of its 3D printed custom eyewear line in the United States.
Specsy now has plans to expand its product offerings by adding new materials for patients and ECPs to choose from.
With this being Optical Prism’s technology issue, we believe Specsy’s revolutionary business model makes it the perfect company to feature.
Recently, we caught up with Ashley Barby, Specsy’s chief operating officer, to find out more about the company, what sets it apart from other eyewear firms that produce 3D frames and its plans for the future.
Q. Please tell our readers about Specsy’s apps and how they work.
A. Our Augmented Reality (AR) app is preloaded on the tablet that our retail partners receive as part of their Specsy Retail Kit. Our AR app is similar to Snapchat or Instagram filters, as it overlays optical frames onto a live video of your face. However, in our case, the frames can be customized and resized through the app. Our AR app is really a fun marketing and engagement tool that our retail partners use to introduce the concept of digital design and custom eyewear to their customers. Our web-based custom frame design app is really where the Specsy magic happens. Our retail partners receive a 3D scanner as part of their Specsy Retail kit, which allows them to capture a 3D scan of their patient’s head. The 3D scan is uploaded to our web-based app through which ECPs design custom frames on the patient’s dimensionally accurate 3D scan. Whether it’s colour, temple length or frame width, ECPs can customize every element of their patient’s frame through our custom frame design app.
Q. What sets Specsy’s app/technology apart from that of other companies?
A. Our technology is unique because we are the first company that has seamlessly bridged the entire digital design and custom frame production process. While other companies have focused on either a digital design process paired with hand craftsmanship or 3D printing of a standardized frame, we are the first to bring these two pieces of the equation together.
Q. How have ECPs responded to Specsy’s technology?
A. We have found ECPs to be overwhelmingly excited and supportive about our technology. There is always the risk that something this unique will be perceived as too different or scary, but we have instead found that ECPs have embraced our technology as the future of optical, and are eager to grow alongside us.
Q. What improvements/enhancements are Specsy hoping to make in the future?
A. We have some exciting enhancement coming out on both the product and app sides of our business.
We are launching a new nylon material in the coming weeks, which is incredibly durable, with a contemporary matte finish. We will be utilizing a completely different 3D printing process to produce frames in this material.
On the app side, we are working on our frame designer app, which will allow ECPs to design custom frames shapes from scratch. We can’t wait to see the creative ideas that this unleashes.
Q. Since Specsy is so web-based, please let us know other ways you use technology to promote/enhance your business.
A. You name it, we’re on it! Since we are such a digital, tech-based company, it just makes sense for us to connect with ECPs through digital platforms.
You can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @realspecsy.