Essilor has launched worldwide a new progressive geometry based on a proprietary W.A.V.E. (Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement) technology, starting with France, Spain, Germany and North America. The launch is being accompanied by a heavy marketing campaign, described as the largest one in the company's history. The technology, which the company says is covered by eight patents, is applied on a new generation of progressive Varilux lenses, representing a major step forward for the company from the Varilux Panamic range launched in the year 2000.

Essilor's new technique maps out the lens point by point in a way similar to the process used for eye mapping in surgery, calculating the progressive design on the basis of the light waves passing through the pupil. Like those adopted by some competitors, Essilor's new technology makes use of the newly available free-form surfacing techniques. The result is a progressive lens that offers better visual acuity and contrast. Intermediate vision is enhanced by 30 percent. The near vision channel is expanded vertically for greater comfort.

The first two new lenses to feature W.A.V.E. technology are the Varilux Physio and the Varilux Physio 360º. The former is wavefront-optimized only in the front, while the latter is optimized on the front and back sides, like the progressives marketed by Hoya and Johnson & Johnson. Those of J&J are still marketed by Essilor separately in the USA, where the company has experienced capacity problems because the demand exceeded expectations.

Essilor is also launching a new more anti-static version of its Crizal Alizée A-R coating, starting in the USA. The 5th generation of Transitions will be available in CR39 later this year.