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Specsavers UK Launches Virtual Eyewear Try-on App PDF
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Specsavers Eyewear Try-on AppSpecsavers UK has just launched their virtual eyewear try-on app. The app allows users to try on hundreds of designer and Specsavers' own brand glasses. Brands available in the app currently include BOSS Orange, FCUK, Karl Lagerfeld, Osiris, Gok Wan and Cheap Monday.

The app features the creation of a model of your face in seconds and see frames from every angle. It provides a means to try on hundreds of glasses virtually and adjust them to your face. The app user can create a list of favourites, ready to buy in a Specsaver store. It also contains a store location functionality.

The app is available only for iOS devices, i.e. iPad and iPhone. At the moment, the app can only be downloaded from the Apple's UK Appstore, but it is expected that the app will be released in other countries where Specsavers is active such as Australia and New Zealand.

Australian company PlanetVA Pty Ltd, the sponsor of, provides similar and custom solutions that also run on Android devices to independent optical stores. For more information goto:

Smartphone App to Guide Vision Impaired Commuters around London Underground PDF
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Monday, 16 March 2015

London Underground app for Vision Impaired commutersA smartphone app designed to guide blind and partially sighted commuters around the London underground is currently undergoing a trial at Pimlico station. The Wayfindr system came from the desire of the Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB's) Youth Forum to navigate the tube independently.

Signals transmitted by Bluetooth beacons are picked up by a smartphone, and in conjunction with indoor positioning technology, the Wayfindr app is able to locate itself and give the user audible instructions. The app is paired with commonly available "bone conduction" earphones that do not prevent wearers from hearing the sounds around them.

Following an initial trial and discussions with London Underground, 16 Bluetooth low energy beacons have been installed at Pimlico station and young vision impaired Londoners involved with the charity are now testing Wayfindr on the Underground.

Wayfindr's ambition is to standardise all audio signage across Transport for London, offering a seamless and simple way to navigate public transport. In its current form, the app talks the user through the station using directions triggered by the beacons – guiding them around the ticket hall, down escalators and stairs and safely onto the platform.

Next Week is World Glaucoma Week 2015 PDF
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International News
Tuesday, 03 March 2015

BIG BreakfastWorld Glaucoma Week 2015 (WGW-2015) is around the corner. This time World Glaucoma Week will be held from March 8-14, 2015.  

The World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and World Glaucoma Patient Association (WGPA) will continue their joint initiative to expand global awareness of the Silent Thief of Sight, when they launch their 'BIG – Beat Invisible Glaucoma' campaign. Relentlessly pursuing their goal of having a BIG network of global glaucoma awareness, the WGA-WGPA team emphasizes that even today, too many people are unaware they have the disease.

During the week Glaucoma Australia will be holding a B.I.G Breakfast event to raise funds and help beat invisible glaucoma in families.

For more information goto:

HAL Holding To IPO GrandVision Optical Retail Chain PDF
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International News
Thursday, 15 January 2015

GrandVision, a major optical retail chain owned by HAL Holding, has announced the intention to launch the initial public offering ("IPO") and listing of GrandVision ordinary shares on Euronext Amsterdam. As was announced earlier, the intended IPO would consist of a secondary offering by HAL of 20-25% of the outstanding GrandVision shares, and is subject to, among other matters, market conditions.

GrandVision operates 5,600 stores under brands also including Apollo-Optik in Germany, Generale d'Optique in France and Pearle in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.

HAL Holding N.V. is an international holding company based in Curaçao. HAL Holding has a minority ownership interest in Safilo S.p.a.


EyeFocus Accelerator Launches In Berlin PDF
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Friday, 14 November 2014

Eyefocus AcceleratorA new startup accelerator will be launched in Berlin this week. The accelerator, called The EyeFocus Accelerator, claims to be world's first accelerator focussed on eye care. It plans to invest up to 20,000 Euros into startups that are helping prevent, cure, and live with eye-disease and blindness, and is offering a 3 month accelerator program.

Globally, 280 million people are visually impaired and 39 million totally blind. 80% of eye disease can be cured, but innovation is needed to disrupt and improve how people diagnose, treat, and live with eye disease. EyeFocus aims to invest in and accelerates startups solving these eye care problems. The program provides startups with finance, mentoring, entrepreneurship education, product development, and ophthalmology support. The EyeFocus Accelerator is very focussed to only eye care and therefore able to offer targeted support for startups in this field. The program aims to building the eye care ecosystem, bringing together all the experts, investors, mentors, and companies in this space around the 12 week accelerator program.

The accelerator is being sponsored by Bayer Healthcare, Zeiss, and Peppermint Venture Partners and run a 3 month program in Berlin in the first quarter of 2015, with activities also in London.

09 October is World Sight Day 2014 PDF
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Tuesday, 07 October 2014

World Sight Day 2014Nearly half a million Australians are blind or vision impaired. Amazingly, only three per cent access services that could make a significant difference to their health and livelihoods. Without low vision services, activities sighted people take for granted, such as shopping, gardening, preparing meals, crossing the road and catching public transport can be difficult and dangerous. Low vision services promote independence, are available throughout Australia, and are usually provided free of charge.

Many people with low vision don't know the benefits of accessing services that can equip them with the skills they need to maintain their independence throughout life and in a variety of settings including: home, work, school and sport.

2014 is the first year of the WHO GAP (Global Action Plan) and IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) encourages its members and partners to continue with its rolling theme: Universal Eye Health. This year, the 'Call to Action' for World Sight Day is: "No more Avoidable Blindness". The Call to Action will draw attention to a few key interventions that are crucial for the success of GAP's target – reducing avoidable blindness by 25%, by 2019. Using the call to action as a clarion call, organisations can identify various aspects of GAP that need urgent attention. They are also invited to customise the call to action, to their disease area – "No more Cataract" or "No more Trachoma" for example.

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