Thursday, August 11, 2011

DRIVEWEAR - Polarized Transitions Lenses

In the past, clear eyewear was enough. In bright light conditions, polarized sunwear was enough. This is no longer true. Today our lives are strongly influenced by the automobile, which has changed the way we experience the outdoors. We need a third category of lenses in our modern, automobile-centered world. Drivewear lenses are capable of sensing and reacting to varying light conditions both outside and behind the windshield of the car. From bright sunlight accompanied by intense, blinding glare, to overcast inclement conditions, Drivewear lenses provide the wearer with the appropriate visual solution. 

"Drivewear lenses provide glare protection through polarization and enhance and protect vision through photochromics which respond to both visible and UV light. By combining the strengths of two of the most important technologies in eyewear."

Drivewear lenses use advances in Transitions Photochromic Technology and breakthroughs in Younger Optics’NuPolar® polarizing technology to create a unique new product. Many attempts have been made to combine polarization and photochromics. These attempts did  ot work because the properties of the lens were not designed specifically to make the two technologies work together in a complimentary and synergistic way. The resulting product did not utilize either technology to its fullest potential or achieve any direct visual  improvements. Drivewear lenses go far beyond these initial attempts by using each of these specific technologies in ways that enhances each one’s capabilities. Drivewear represents the highest utilization of technology of any lens ever intro duced into our industry. Drivewear’s combination of technologies is so advanced and novel that multiple patents have been filed on this invention (for instance, “Eyewear having selective spectral response”, US patent #6926405 and WO 2005/001554)
Lens Design
The photochromic properties of Drivewear lenses represent a breakthrough. In the past, photochromics responded only to UV light intensity. Upon exposure to UV light, the molecular structure of typical photochromics, such as the naphthopyrans, will change orientation, and absorb light. Windshields of cars contain UV blocking agents; therefore, conventional photochromics won’t work. The technology breakthrough needed for Drivewear was to find an array of molecules that would activate in visible light, not just UV light. This would allow for reaction of the molecules behind the windshield of a car.

The polarization technology of Drivewear also represents a significant breakthrough in the use of polarization. Typically, efficient polarization by absorption only occurs when there are a large quantities of absorbers present; that is, when the lenses are dark. While this is desirable for the times when there is bright sunlight, it does not address lower light conditions particularly during times of overcast weather. Drivewear lenses require a high efficiency polarizer that provides excellent polarizing properties never found before in such a high contrast, light color. This was only achieved by pushing polarized manufacturing technologies to new levels of exceptional performance and light transmittance.

How will be in different light conditions.

Low Light Conditions
designed to maximize useful light information reaching the eye.
In Low Light/ Overcast conditions, Drivewear lenses remove glare and maximize useful light information reaching the eye for optimum visual acuity.
Polarization will remove glare that would otherwise destroy vision in low light conditions.
At low lighting conditions, Drivewear lenses provide high transmission of light to maximize the total information to all the eye’s visual receptors. This results in maximum visual acuity at this low lighting level. The high contrast polarizer removes glare that would otherwise destroy vision in low light conditions. In this stage Drivewear lenses are a high contrast green/yellow color. Simply, there is no better designed lens for either outdoors or while driving under low light, overcast conditions.

Bright light conditions
Designed to both remove excess light and provide good traffic signal recognition; highlighting the reds and greens.
In Bright Light/ Driving conditions (behind the windshield), Drivewear lenses remove glare and control the intensity of light reaching the eye for optimum visual acuity.
Polarization will remove glare for safe driving vision.
During bright light conditions behind the windshield of a car, Drivewear lenses provides lower overall transmission to control light intensity for optimum visual acuity. Drivewear lenses promote preferential activation of the eye’s red cones (and to a lesser extent, green cones) and result in the best possible vision at these higher light levels. Drivewear’s high contrast polarizer is absolutely essential behind the windshield of the car, because it blocks out blinding glare, one of the most dangerous of all driving hazards. Under these conditions, the Drivewear lenses turn a copper color which many feel is the optimum color for a driving lens. This unique behind-the-windshield response protects against bright light and glare and provides better sensitivity to the “visual signal” that is vital for safe driving.

In Very Bright Light/ Outside conditions
Designed for maximum filtration of excess light so that the eye does not get saturated.
In Very Bright Light/ Outside conditions, Drivewear lenses remove glare and provide maximum filtration of excess light for optimum visual comfort and acuity.
Polarization will provide maximum comfort in high light conditions.
In outside bright light conditions, the eyes’ visual receptors, the rods and cones, can easily get “overpowered” and “oversaturated” with light. Under these bright outside conditions the Drivewear lens is designed for maximum filtration of this excess light. It achieves its maximum dark color under these conditions. Here again, it is important to provide maximum protection from blinding glare, and only polarized lenses can do this. Drivewear is designed to provide maximum comfort to the wearer in these high outdoor light conditions. 

Frequently asked questions about Drivewear lenses

Why did Younger develop a lens specifically for driving?

• As with all its offerings, Younger wanted to create a product that would meet a specific visual need that isn’t being met in today’s market. 
• Although driving is an integral part of our daily lives, it is one of the most challenging and difficult activities a person can engage in – and we need all the visual help we can get. 
• Drivewear lenses offer the consumer far more than just polarized photochromic eyewear – they are the beginning of a whole new lens category.
Who should wear Drivewear lenses?

• Worldwide, there are nearly 1 billion drivers and the number is growing every year. 
• Nearly everyone of driving age that walks into an optical shop is an ideal candidate and can benefit from the improved vision delivered by Drivewear lenses. 
What is the availability of Drivewear?

● Drivewear lenses are now available in polycarbonate single vision and Image® progressive; and hard resin single vision, IMAGE® progressive, Flat Top 28 and Finished planos (available through your Wholesale Lab). More in Drivewearlens availability. 
Will all labs have the product or is there a list of ones that have it in stock?

• Drivewear is available to all Wholesale Laboratories; ask your lab about Drivewear. 

How was Drivewear developed?

• Younger Optics continues its role as the Optical Innovator with this breakthrough research. Younger looked to Transitions Optical for the latest photochromic developments to enhance the lens performance. • Drivewear lenses combine two of the most advanced technologies in the eyeglass industry today – 
Transitions® Photochromic Technology and NuPolar® polarization.
• Multiple patents have been filed on this invention.
Is a progressive available in Drivewear?

• Yes, the IMAGE® progressive became available in Drivewear in January 07.
Can I mirror coat Drivewear lenses?

• Mirror coatings are not recommended since mirrors reflect the visible light and will not allow visible light photochromic activation. 
Can I tint Drivewear lenses?

• Tinting is not recommended as the product darkens considerably outside. Additional tint could reduce outdoor transmission to possibly dangerous levels.
Can I add anti-reflective coatings to Drivewear lenses?

• Yes, Drivewear is compatible with most AR coatings.
Is POS available, and how can it be ordered?

• Materials can also be ordered from your wholesale laboratory or directly from Younger Optics. Contact Robert Lee

How do Drivewear lenses work?

• Drivewear is the first polarized photochromic lens to darken behind the windshield of a car.
• Drivewear® Transitions® SOLFX™ lenses feature unique photochromic dyes which respond to visible light in addition to UV light. 

  • This allows Drivewear lenses to change color based on current driving conditions in order to enhance the driver’s vision.
  • Wearers will have the security of knowing that Drivewear® Transitions® SOLFX™ lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
• In virtually every daylight driving situation, Drivewear lenses provide optimal visual comfort and safety.

  • In low light, the lenses are a green/yellow color which provides high contrast.
    • Color is designed to minimize glare and maximize useful light information.
  • In daylight (behind the windshield of a car) they change to a copper color, which reduces glare and excess visual light.
    • Provides good traffic signal recognition, highlighting reds and greens.
  • In outdoor light, they become a dark reddish-brown color, providing maximum comfort in high light conditions by filtering excess light.
• Drivewear lenses also utilize NuPolar, the world’s leading polarized Rx technology, to provide protection from blinding glare.
Can Drivewear be used for night driving?

• Drivewear lenses are optimized for sunlight response. They should not be used for night driving. Many Vision & Highway Safety experts believe that NO tint should ever be used at night. 

For more information


  1. These glasses are very helpful in spotting a measuring tool laser beam spot against a muddled, excessively bright, or geometrically confused background.

  2. Sunglasses are uniquely useful when driving in bright conditions because reflected light from your dashboard is blocked, making it seem as if your windshield has disappeared.


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