Mister Spex has asked the German Institute for Trends and Future Research (ITZ), in Heidelberg, to conduct a survey on the future of vision and identify trends, challenges and opportunities. The more digitization takes over our everyday life, whether private or professional, the more time we spend in front of screens. If the ITZ is correct, current adolescents may be a ‘generation of moles.'
According to a survey conducted by YouGov Germany on behalf of Mister Spex and the ITZ, almost half the German population (46 percent) have already noticed a deterioration in their vision when using digital devices. Young people in particular are increasingly myopic, as around 47 percent of Europeans aged 25 to 29 already suffer from this form of ametropia.
About 28 percent of people aged 50 to 59 years are myopic, as are 16 percent of those aged 65 to 69. 72 percent of the German population uses the internet daily, while 9 out of 10 Germans have access to it.
The ITZ also names several trends that come along with digitization. First of all, digital detox is becoming increasingly important for our vision. Conscious breaks, a healthy diet and relaxation exercises, such as eye yoga, can significantly counterbalance a daily intake of digital images and improve eyesight.
Secondly, as three quarters of all employees work around the clock on the screen, it is crucial for employers and employees to beware of the dangers of laptops, smartphones and other digital devices. Demand is increasing for eyeglass-lens enhancements that can absorb the tedious blue-violet radiation of monitors and smartphones. Mister Spex launched eyeglass lenses made with its so-called blue filter technology only three months ago, and already their share Mister Spex' total lens sales has risen to about ten percent.
The third trend noted by the ITZ is that digitization offers many opportunities to facilitate everyday life and improve vision. For example, a retina-scan algorithm might highlight abnormalities and deviations in the eye and help detect diseases quickly. Online vision tests are already partially used in the U.S., and Mister Spex is working to introduce them to the European market. Mister Spex is celebrating its tenth birthday in 2018. The German eyewear retailer has more than 3 million customers in Europe and about 450 employees. It operates in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K. and the Netherlands with its own online stores. In July 2013, it acquired Swedish online eyewear company Lensstore, which now operates in Norway, Finland and Sweden.
In February 2016, Mister Spex opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Berlin. In 2017, it opened additional stationary stores in Berlin-Steglitz, Oberhausen, Bremen, Bochum and Dortmund. In 2018, it opened four stores, in Frankfurt, Erfurt, Essen and Münster.