Back in the 1960s, some geeky scientists at Corning said to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be great if our regular everyday nerd glasses could magically darken and lighten all by themselves depending on the lighting conditions? Just imagine the comfort and convenience of THAT! Think of how many more dates we could get!”
Seeing as how they were pretty smart, the scientists developed photochromic glass, and it worked like this: With exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight, the glass would darken as embedded microcrystalline silver halides absorbed the light. Conversely, once the UV was removed, the glass would gradually return to its clear state.
When this photochromic glass was incorporated into eyeglasses, it worked pretty well. And it did indeed result in more dates for the scientists. Certainly, their dates were duly impressed with the scientists’ new invention and how cool their glasses were.
By the mid 1970s, the scientists had scored quite a few dates, but there was a problem: The speed of the transition from dark to light left a lot to be desired. Sometimes, if the scientists would go from outdoor to indoor light (like at a scientist pool party, for example), their lenses would take so long to lighten, they wouldn’t even notice their dates laughing and snickering at how ridiculous they looked.
Clearly, the scientists knew there was work to be done if they wanted to keep scoring dates. Over the next few decades, the scientists made significant improvements in the speed of the lighter-darker-lighter transition. They also abandoned glass in favor of strong, lightweight plastics. Their work was a success.
The result, of course, was more dates.
Then in 1991, a company called Transitions Optical became the undisputed leader in the field. Not only did their scientists improve the transition speed even more, but they also placed an emphasis on fashion and safety: Even with 100% UV protection, it really was possible to have great-looking indoor glasses that also functioned as great-looking outdoor glasses. And vice versa. Were they true sunglasses? No, but the quick transitions worked well in most light conditions, and the comfort and convenience was undeniable.
Even better, the scientists made sure that Transitions lenses could be used in virtually any frame, style, size and prescription. So the transition was fast, and they looked fantastic.
You probably can guess what happened: More dates.
As people everywhere quickly realized how the previously undateable scientists had continued to score lots of dates, the lenses became mainstream and popular. Soon, everyone everywhere was scoring more dates.
Then the scientists joined up with some marketing consultants, got all legal with that circle “R” thing in their name (Transitions®) and evolved their family of products into three distinct product lines:
- Transitions® VI, the company’s primary line of comfort lenses.
- Transitions® EXTRActive, a line of lenses that gets even darker outdoors but doesn’t fully lighten indoors, perfect for most outside activities.
- Transitions® SOLFX, a true sunglass lens that darkens according to light conditions but does not lighten enough for indoor situations or night-time uses.
The result? More dates. Even for the marketing consultants.
Today, the benefits and fast-change technology of Transitions® lenses are available at good optical stores like Davis Duehr Dean. Offering full UV protection and the ultimate in convenience, Transitions® lenses have evolved from geeky science experiment to totally cool technology-based fashion.
So that’s the story of how some undateable scientists invented something cool, and in the process, helped everyone. If you’d like to check out Transitions® lenses for yourself, stop by a nearby Davis Duehr Dean location.