The journey to reinvent reading glasses

"Some ideas come to us in a dream and some, like ThinOptics, during a long bike ride. My friend had forgotten his reading glasses. He was frustrated, and asked me to read a text message on his cell phone because he couldn’t see it. During the next twenty miles of riding, I developed the idea of putting reading glasses onto the backs of all cell phones." - Teddy Shalon, Inventor & Chairman ThinOptics

The Problem With Reading Glasses

Every year, billions of dollars are spent to engineer ever more beautiful, high-resolution displays for our computers and phones, but few have put the same kind of energy toward reading glasses resulting in little evolution since their invention late in the 13th century. Today over 30 million Americans buy two pairs of reading glasses every year.

If you struggle with tiny text, you can increase the font size on your cell phone’s screen—but then you’re restricted to a keyhole view. Because your cell phone is always with you, we set out to develop thin, comfortable reading glasses that fit on the back of your phone. We’ve filled the innovation gap so that now your glasses are always with you.

Backed By Sophisticated Technology

At ThinOptics, we figured that it would take six months of development to make these glasses, but instead, it took over 30 months. Our challenge was to make our glasses fit comfortably. Not for 90%, but for 100% of all users. As we developed ThinOptics reading glasses, we tested hundreds of prototypes on thousands of noses. Because ThinOptics reading glasses have to work as well as your cell phone does, every single time you use them.

Over 200 prototypes (and countless noses) contributed to the birth of ThinOptics reading glasses

Born in Silicon Valley

We used our biomedical and Silicon Valley expertise to create the most remarkable reading glasses in the world. ThinOptics glasses are created from medical device materials, like the super-elastic metal alloy used for heart stents, and incredibly slim, bulletproof-strong polycarbonate lenses. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies create a consistently high-quality and affordable product. We created an entire portfolio of patents filed in the US and internationally. As we look back on our journey, we realize that we’re just getting started. ThinOptics reading glasses are not a gadget. It’s a revolutionary new vision platform. Our engineering team continues to develop new innovations to deliver powerful, "always with you" products to our customers.

Over 200 prototypes (and countless noses) contributed to the birth of ThinOptics reading glasses

The drive to see has always frustrated people, and has led to many efforts to create glasses. Starting over a hundred years ago (2), inventors attached lenses to the ear using a hook and a chain because the lenses kept falling off the nose. The chain eventually became a wire, and glasses with temples were born.

More recently, others tried again to make glasses without temples (3, 4, 5), but these didn’t stay on the nose and were remarkably uncomfortable. However, since people have a drive and need for portable reading glasses, inventors kept experimenting, even developing glasses that need to be folded and unfolded every time they’re used (6). ThinOptics reading glasses were built upon each of these designs to create reading glasses that do a complete job of providing stable, comfortable, and convenient vision (1).

ThinOptics has gathered together a dynamic, and visionary team. David Chute has decades of experience commercializing new eyewear technologies and Dean Finnegan has years of retail experience in consumer electronics to develop new channels of distributions. Darren Lancaster provides innovative marketing and consumer engagement, resulting in extremely high customer satisfaction numbers. Gadi Ponte delivers seamless operational processes. ThinOptics is proud to have devoted employees, strong manufacturing and channel partners, and over two dozen seasoned investors whose net worth exceeds hundreds of millions of dollars.

When we started this journey, friends wondered if we were insane to assemble a dream team in Silicon Valley to create the perfect reading glasses. But for us, the journey has been to create a remarkable product. ThinOptics glasses bring a contagious delight to our customers that reinforces our passion and commitment to produce amazing eyewear.