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ZEISS SmartLife Progressive Lenses Address Today’s Daily Visual Needs

October 20, 2023

Digital devices have become an integral part of our lives, and we continually have access to nearly everything, people, information, and communities. Resting our eyes has become a thing of the past. We are constantly absorbing information and continually on the go. In response, ZEISS engineers and lens physicists are focusing on our active lifestyles,  specifically designing lenses to support quick and easy peripheral vision for all-day comfort.

As our screen time increases, we encounter new forms of visual stress that our eyes are not able to keep pace with. Frequent gaze changes at multiple focal points through portions of a lens that were not designed for this kind of visual behavior — especially while we are moving — call for a radically different type of lens design thinking.

In response, engineers have designed the ZEISS SmartLife Lens Portfolio, which is a complete all-day lens offering, to address the daily visual needs of modern consumers. In the past, our daily interactions were mainly analog. Over the last 20 years, with the advent of digital devices, our visual behavior has been affected in several ways. We have a significant increase in downward gazing, and our body posture has also changed while our eyes use new movement patterns. In addition, using our digital devices while on the move means we now increasingly rely on our peripheral vision to safely navigate the physical world.

Active Lifestyles Prompt New Design
Did you know multitasking is so prevalent that researchers are now studying ”distracted walking” and its link to pedestrian accidents? While walking down a concourse at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport recently, I noticed two young ladies walking and watching a movie together on their smartphones. They crashed into a large luggage cart, and one injured her leg.

With smartphones, we’re no longer tethered to a desktop computer or an office. Mobile devices — our constant companions — allow us to stay productive throughout the day, even when we are on the move. Research shows 68% of us use smartphones while having dinner with family, a fact we all confirm visually each time we eat out.

ZEISS SmartLife Progressive lenses are specially designed to meet the vision needs of people with presbyopia with a connected and active lifestyle. The optical performance in the lens periphery is designed for frequent changes of head and eye position driven by how people interact with their handheld devices. The new lens design fingerprint provides a smoother transition into the lens periphery with less perceived blur to enable peripheral vision in natural dynamic interaction.

ZEISS describes its SmartLife Lenses as Smart, Superior, and Simple. ZEISS SmartLife Lenses are “smart,” addressing relevant consumer needs and a broad target market. These lenses are “superior,” incorporating innovative new technology and optical expertise. And finally, ZEISS SmartLife Lenses are “simple,” saving time by simplifying lens choice and selling.

The foundation of the new ZEISS SmartLife Lens Portfolio — ZEISS SmartView Technology — is founded on consumer insights and scientific research of today’s modern visual behavior and individual age-related needs. Based on a unique combination of expertise in the structure, functions, and diseases of the eyes as well as knowledge in various fields of optics, it is the next evolution of the complete ZEISS Precision Technology portfolio.

The four cornerstones of ZEISS SmartView Technology are:
1. Smart Dynamic Optics: State-of-the-art 3D object-space-model and design fingerprints adapt to today’s dynamic visual behaviors. This is based on the simulation of binocular vision during dynamic visual behavior, related to a connected and on-the-move lifestyle affecting everyone, independent of age. Both the 3D object-space-model and the new design fingerprints take the dynamic visual behavior from near to far into account, which lead to a smoother transition into the lens periphery with less perceived blur. This enables peripheral vision in a natural dynamic interaction, resulting in comfortable vision and ease of viewing in all distances and directions.

2. Age Intelligence: Lenses are adapted according to the eyes’ accommodation ability, taking into account that this ability decreases significantly as we age. Therefore, different lens types are offered for every stage of life, fulfilling evolving vision needs as people age. Further optical optimization is achieved based on the average pupil size of a person’s age group. As we age our pupils’ ability to dilate decreases. For optimization of the lens surface, ZEISS factors in the age-specific pupil size to determine average luminance throughout the day. This is called ZEISS Luminance Design Technology 2.0. 3.

3. Clear Optics: The ZEISS promise of precision throughout the complete design and production process is achieved with high precision in an advanced lens-eye-system and leading edge in advanced freeform production.

4. Thin Optics: ZEISS combines lens aesthetics with balance between optics and thin, light lenses. This is enabled using the ZEISS thickness algorithm, thin and lightweight lenses based on Optima — the ZEISS thickness reduction option and a flexible base curve adaptation ­— for further aesthetic lens optimization.

Face Fit+ Technology: Using this new technology, ZEISS optimizes viewing zones based on data for the frame wrap angle, the position of the eyes behind the frame, and the fit of the frame on the nose and ears. The result is a lens precisely fitted to the face, maximizing 3D vision, and supporting quick adaptation. Finally, all clear ZEISS SmartLife Lenses include ZEISS UVProtect Technology. Based on the above information, it is easy to see why eye care professionals love the personalization and flexibility that these lens enhancements allow.

Ask Patients These Questions to Select the Perfect Lens
By asking your patients a few questions the right design option is easy:

  • What are your most common visual activities for both work and leisure?
  • Which visual activities are most important to you?
  • Which activities seem to challenge your vision the most? Reading, viewing computer or handheld devices, driving, sports or outdoor activities?
  • If you could change one aspect of our current progressive lenses, what would it be?



  • Kirk Smick, OD

    Dr. Smick is a retired Air Force Colonel and pilot. He has held several key leadership positions in optometry and has lectured both nationally and internationally. He is a past president of the Georgia Board of Optometric Examiners, the Georgia Optometric Association, and SECO International. Dr. Smick believes that post-graduate education is the key to best practices and therefore has dedicated much of his professional life to continuing education. He served as the chairman of continuing education for SECO International, the American Optometry Association’s Optometry’s Meeting, and the Vision Expo meetings. In total he has dedicated more than 30 years to continuing education, both as a facilitator and a lecturer. He was the first optometrist to be certified by the American Academy of Certified Procedural Coders and an original founder of the Omni Referral Center System. He continues to consult with several industry partners, including Allergan, Optical Connection, and ScienceBased Health. He views presbyopia as a unique opportunity for optometrists because of the new technologies available.

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