The Future of the Eyewear Market (INFOGRAPHIC)


Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

Since the invention of eyeglasses in 13th century Italy, the popularity of these visual aids has grown to the point that currently about 126 million Americans make use of them every day. 

Originally, eyeglasses were simple, crude lenses which were placed into frames made of leather or wood. They were either perched on the bridge of the nose, or held in the hand as the “arms” to fit over the ears were not invented until later. 

Interestingly, glasses were initially used mostly by monks who used them to study. From there, they gained popularity among scholars, which naturally led them to also become popular among aristocrats, as these were the people who could afford them at the time. 

As the crafting of lenses and frames became more advanced and more available to the general public, glasses, of course, increased in popularity to such a degree that they are easily as common as any other accessory we could possibly wear. 

Not only are glasses used for vision correction, but today we also use them for sports, gaming, safety, and even to express our personal sense of style. Glasses continue to be increasingly embraced. 

Just a couple of decades ago, most people purchased just one pair of glasses each year. However, even though the price of glasses has remained high, the accessibility of newer styles of frames and different kinds of lenses has led to most people purchasing multiple pairs of glasses every single year with the most common lens coatings being UV protection, scratch resistance, anti-fog, and anti-reflective. 

As if all the most popular uses for glasses were not enough, developers are also putting advanced technology into our eyewear. Smart glasses are now the glasses of the future, and it’s already here. 

Glasses such as Google Glass and Lumus Sleek are monocular smart glasses in which one lens contains an optical engine, enabling augmented information to be displayed outside the line of vision. These glasses are being used by surgeons to allow them to monitor patient vitals during surgeries. 

The ODG R-9 and the Sony SED-E1 are binocular smart glasses which have the ability to allow the wearer to overlay 2D and 3D graphics. This can be useful for engineers in the field doing things like repairing oil rigs. They can receive information from the office directly to their glasses regarding which valves need to be repaired. 

Other kinds of smart glasses are also being used to advance industries in big ways. As we continue to march into the future, glasses are giving us supervision to face everything with clarity. 


Looking Up. The Future of Eyewear Is Shining Bright

Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.