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Roanoke Firm Plays Key Role in Development of Electronic Eye Glasses

Custom lenses being produced by PixelOptics of Roanoke.

PixelOptics, Inc. (“Pixel”) of Roanoke has announced that Pixel and Panasonic Shikoku Electronics Co., Ltd of Matsuyama, Japan will collaborate in the development of PixelOptics’ electronic eyeglasses.

Pixel, the world’s first composite ophthalmic lens company, is developing, and plans to market and sell both static (fixed focus) and electronic dynamic (changeable focus) lenses. Panasonic Shikoku Electronics is one of the group companies of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC).

Bill Kokonaski, Pixel’s CTO said “Pixel and Panasonic Shikoku Electronics have been jointly developing the first ophthalmic eyewear solution that crosses over into the consumer electronics sector. We are most pleased to have Panasonic Shikoku Electronics assisting us with this development.”

In 1999 e-Vision, LLC began the development of electronic eyeglasses. e-Vision exclusively and globally licensed its intellectual property, trade secrets, and know-how to Pixel in 2005. Pixel, with the help of nine other development partners from around the world, has been aggressively and diligently furthering the development. Panasonic Shikoku Electronics is one of the development partners playing a major role in creation of this product. To date, Pixel has amassed an IP portfolio of over 300 patents and patent applications around the world.

Ronald D. Blum, O.D., President and CEO of Pixel stated, “Pixel’s electronic eyeglasses auto-focus faster than the blink of an eye using chemistry, electricity, and optics and do so without moving parts. These eyeglasses allow for clear focus from far to near, and everything in between.

They are lineless on the face of the wearer and provide significantly wider and less compromised fields of clear vision having far less areas of distortion than that of progressive addition lenses of an equal optical power. “Progressive addition lenses presently are the most common and preferred way of correcting for presbyopia – a condition that results in the poor near and intermediate distance focus of one’s eyes after 45 years of age.”

“Panasonic Shikoku Electronics is very pleased to have had the opportunity to work on such an exciting project and one that will benefit so many people around the world,” said Yukinori Okazaki, Chief Technology Officer and board member of Panasonic Shikoku Electronics Co., Ltd., “We anticipate there will be a lot of opportunities in health care that will benefit the world’s aging population in which Panasonic Shikoku Electronics can play a significant role. We see Pixel’s electronic eyeglasses as one of these opportunities.”

Lined multifocals account for approximately 50 million pairs sold each year worldwide. Pixel’s electronic eyewear (the name has not been released) was invented and developed to compete within the progressive addition lens market worldwide. Progressive addition lenses account for an additional approximately 50 million pairs sold each year worldwide. Together there are approximately 100 million pairs of multifocals sold each year around the world.

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