As a person who’s always going back and forth to Specsavers to have poorly fitted glasses either re-tightened or reshaped, I’m a fan of any sign of good news in the custom eyewear sector. The latest positive story comes from 3D capture and imaging company, Fuel3D which has just been awarded £1.2 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop a 3D scanning system which will support the provision of custom eyewear.
Poor fitting glasses can cause discomfort and misalignment of the lenses with the eyes. With this new system, users will be able to gather a customer's facial data in a single scan and use it to generate custom eyewear that is designed specifically for them.
Fuel3D’s technology combines pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to instantly capture and process a 270-degree 3D scan of a customer’s face to enable accurate measurements to be taken.
“We are delighted to have secured Horizon 2020 SME instrument funding for this project, said Stuart Mead, CEO, Fuel3D. “We believe that the eyewear sector will benefit greatly from the advances we have made in fast, measurable 3D image capture, and we are looking forward to building a system that will help set new fitting standards and revenue models in the industry.”
The first year of the project will see Fuel3D develop a prototype system. The second year will move towards manufacturing the final product and also include work with partners in the eyewear sector to integrate with third-party systems, including those designed to support custom-fitting of eyewear or “virtual try-on” solutions. To help ensure the success of the project, the company is building an advisory panel of industry experts from opticians to eyewear manufacturers.
“We have already had many interesting conversations with eyewear industry leaders and the formalisation of our advisory panel will help us progress towards defining new standards in both technology and customer service,” said Fuel3D’s McGrath.