Today’s lenses are the most high-tech ever. With precise measurements, custom designs, and state-of-the-art coatings, lenses made in 2018 have some clear advantages. Over the years, eyewear companies have adapted to society’s changing needs to offer comfortable products that not only correct vision but do so much more. Let’s take a look at one of these innovators, Germany’s Zeiss. Their story may surprise you.

In the beginning

After completing his studies in math, experimental physics, anthropology, mineralogy, and optics at the University of Jena, Carl Zeiss opened his first optical instrument workshop in 1846. His early work was primarily focused on glass microscope lenses.

A giant leap for mankind

In 1866 Ernst Abbe, a physicist and professor at the University of Jena, joined Carl Zeiss as partner and research director. Abbe developed apochromatic microscope lenses that reduced light distortion. Let’s just say that, at the time, it was a pretty big deal!

Ernst Abbe also came up with the so-called Abbe number, one of the measurements that opticians still use today to create lenses that help their patients see clearly. In fact, mankind’s first steps on the moon were captured with Zeiss camera lenses, and more than 30 Nobel Prize laureates use Zeiss microscopes to observe the most minute details.

A pioneer in both technology and society

Zeiss was an early adopter of the social enterprise. In 1891, the Carl Zeiss Foundation was formed to share profits among leadership, employees, and the University of Jena, to further scientific research and social progress.

It has certainly worked. Zeiss has filed more than 8,400 patents to date and develops more than 500 inventions per year, putting German technology in the hands of the entire world. The company also devotes 10% of its revenue to R&D in 25 research centres worldwide.

Now what?

One of Zeiss’s latest innovations is UVProtect, a technology that provides full UV400 protection in all the company’s clear lenses without interfering with visible light or changing the look of the lenses. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

For more information on the lenses in your glasses, ask an expert at your Opto-Réseau clinic.