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EssilorLuxottica demos advanced eyewear with hearing technology

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3 min read

EssilorLuxottica is offering Vision Expo East attendees a preview of its latest consumer technology: Nuance Audio, a pair of glasses equipped with advanced hearing assistance.

Let’s start with some background.

Back in 2022, the international eyecare and eyewear product corporation acquired Nuance Hearing, an Israeli startup, in a multi-million-dollar deal.

The key to this purchase: Nuance’s breakthrough hearing technology.

Why hearing?

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 1.5 billion individuals worldwide experience some degree of hearing loss, and that number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050.

In fact, both the WHO and the Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that more than 400 million in the world would benefit from using hearing aids; however, fewer than 68 million actually use them.

The result: an existing coverage gap of 83%.

Gotcha. And Essilor’s reasoning?

While Essilor’s core focus remains vision, including growing its optical market presence, it noted a unique opportunity to “open up a new avenue for the industry by addressing the need for good hearing with innovative technologies,” the company stated in 2022.

Which leads us to …

This new product. Developed by an in-house Super Audio team, the company used proprietary hardware and software to pair hearing solutions and prescription-based glasses into one product for a new demographic of consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss.

The result: embedding high-quality hearing technology into “fashionable eyeglasses” intended to fit into the company's luxury eyewear theme of comfort and style.

So how obvious are the hearing aids?

That’s the point; they’re not. “The audio component will be completely invisible,” the company stated.

The intent is to remove common psychological barriers that have deterred consumers from wearing traditional hearing aids, including:

  • Stigmatization
  • Low trust in hearing aid benefits
  • Cognitive and functional restrictions
  • Coping strategies
  • Personality factors

Can I see a visual?

Watch below.

When will these glasses be available?

Essilor is expecting to launch into the commercial market space by Q2 2024, beginning with the North American market.

Any idea on the cost yet?

Not so far … but stay tuned for further details in the coming months!

Lastly … where can I demo the Nuance Audio?

Essilor is on-site at Vision Expo East this weekend, so stop by stand #P1347 in the Exhibit Hall.

See here for more Vision Expo East coverage.

Vision Expo East is being held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, New York, from March 14-17, 2024.

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