Our goal was to find a solution that makes glasses accessible - even to people living in the most remote villages on earth. This meant we needed to break out of “the way it’s always been done” mentality, which led us to challenge the need for perfect vision, as “perfection” always increases costs.
We came up with a radically simplified lens concept. A small variance from perfect vision is quite normal as visual acuity fluctuates throughout the day and changes over time. Additionally, small refractive errors (e.g. -1 diopter) are absolutely liveable, as they don’t impact the ability to work (or even drive).
However, there was still the issue of frames as everyone has different shaped heads with eyes or ears close together or far away. This makes fitting glasses to an individual quite a challenge, and it increases retail prices due to the need for substantial inventories and two-way logistics. We tried designing one-size-fits-all frames.
Getting from “concept” to “reality” took 18 months of failed design attempts until the design subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz picked up the challenge and brought to life the world’s first, mass-producible, adjustable, one-size-fits-all frames.
3D printed prototypes of the glasses were successfully tested in field trials in Angola. Our very first user was Samuel, who had just lost his job the prior week because he couldn’t see well. The concept worked great, all of the customers benefited, and the 3rd party distribution model was successfully tested.
We launched the business at full scale, starting mass production, running large scale field trials, getting the first commercial orders, expanding the team and adding vision kits as well children’s glasses to our product portfolio.
With our proven model, we are expanding to new geographies and partnering with new distributors to reach more and more people who struggle to see today.