Are you familiar with the latest in wearable technology? Are you looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones who love to be socially connected, but want to live in the moment….in and out of the sun? Dr. Darryl Glover sat down with Rebecca Furuta and Taylour Johnson to discuss the new smart glasses, Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®.
Dr. Darryl Glover: I’m super excited because we’re going to talk about technology [today] I’m a big fan of technology, and I personally feel that technology is going to change what the eye-care industry looks like. It will change the landscape for the better and improve the experience for our patients tremendously. Technology is the future, and we are here today to talk about some technology that’s going to change your life, but, most importantly, change your practice. Before we get started and talk about this technology I want to say thank you to Transitions® Optical for partnering with Defocus Media; partners like [these] really help to elevate the experience when patients come in, and I want to thank you again for being a fantastic partner over the years.
[Now let’s meet our guests:]
Rebecca Furuta: My name is Becky, and I actually own an eye care practice in Golden, Colorado. My business partner and I have a family practice that focuses a lot on sports vision and sports vision technology. I’m also a professional cyclist, an elite runner, and I guess now I’m a Nordic skier. I took up Nordic skiing during covid, and my sponsors are actually sponsoring me to do a couple of really big Nordic ski races, including a race in Sweden later this month … so it’s pretty exciting. Obviously as an athlete and also as a business person, my life is very tech-heavy. In sports specifically, everything in my life is measured; every watt, every breath, every time I go to sleep, how much hydration, my nutrition, etc. Every single moment of my day is metered by some piece of technology, so I really understand the value of having things that work. Good technology is seamless and mindless, and we don’t really think about it it just integrates into our life. Bad technology … is frustrating, and so the way that we approach technology and how technology fits into our daily life is actually really important and can be a source of either a lot of ease or a lot of frustration
Taylour Johnson: I fell into optics. I’m from Fayetteville, North Carolina I’m still here, and now I work at the local LensCrafters at the Cross Creek Mall. At the time, I was trying to be a full-time firefighter — I also do that on the side. I’m a first responder, and I love that kind of aspect of my life too — [I was] finishing college, looking for a full-time job, not really finding anything in the firefighter world, so I was just picked up a part-time job at LensCrafters, and they kind of just threw me (thankfully) into the lab making glasses…I fell in love with it. I found the local school, Durham Tech Community College, and I signed up next semester, and it was game over. So I’ve been in full force ever since then, and it’s been fun it’s been and exciting. I love it; I love helping people, and being able to make the glasses has been life-changing, helping these people. So I’m glad I’ve been able to get into this field. As it comes to technology, well, just me making the glasses, we have a lot of challenges that come up. We do see the Echo Amazon glasses, we do have to put lenses in those, so I was really excited when Ray-Ban got their own [smart glasses]…
MEET RAY-BAN STORIES WITH TRANSITIONS® SMART GLASSES
Dr. Darryl Glover: Today we’re really going to talk about technology we’re going to talk about Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®. What I would really like to dive deep into is really your experiences but also I want to talk about how do we have this conversation with our patients and how we implement this into our practice because, again, this is going to be a game changer.
Becky, you know Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’m not gonna lie this year I dropped the ball. I didn’t set up dinner on time for my wife, so I know she’s gonna kill me, so if y’all don’t see me here after the 14th, you know exactly what happened: I pissed my wife off. When I smile at her just, it changes everything, so hopefully, that still will work, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and when you’re shopping for that special someone in your life, it’s always great to get them a nice pair of eyewear, for sure. For those out there that may be unfamiliar with Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®, can you explain why these are more than just a regular pair of glasses? I own a pair, and we’re all wearing a pair, but for those that may be looking for the right gift to give that significant other or that loved one, let’s talk about this how are these different from anything else out there.
Rebecca (Becky) Furuta: First and foremost, I think the aesthetic of these is great. I heard Taylour mention that there are some competitors out there, but those particular frames are clunky. They’re not very fashion-forward; they’re not things that you would want to wear out in public. Ray-Ban really represents this leap in technology and aesthetics. This is a very classic-looking, radiant frame. You would never know it is a Ray-Ban Stories frame; it doesn’t have a lot of extra hardware. It’s lightweight, comfortable to wear, and fits really well. That’s I think a big piece of it.
[These smart glasses] can capture high-definition video stills and audio. The audio quality is actually, I think, fantastic. I mean the ability to listen to music, you can take calls, I can be out on those ski slopes, and my kids will call, and I can swipe the side of my temple and answer that phone call. It’s easy to use, they are very easy to set it up. I am not tech-savvy at all, and it took me about 10 seconds to [set up]. The app is incredibly user-friendly and integrates seamlessly with the glasses, so it’s easy for anyone regardless of your technological ability.
I think the best thing about this is when you think about going to a concert: We’ve all pulled out our cell phones to record a concert, and what you are doing [is] watching the concert through the video screen on your phone. There’s something that’s separating you from that experience. [Same when we talk about] your kids playing at the park, and you pull out that cell phone, you open up the photo app, and you take that picture — you’re watching your child through a screen. So much of our life has been spent watching [things] through screens on cell phones, and Ray-Ban Stories actually removes that barrier. You’re in the experience when I’m at a concert, recording the concert. I literally talk to my glasses and tell them to shoot a video. There’s nothing standing between me and that experience, so in that regard, I think it’s actually kind of a romantic Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a way to capture the experiences of life without having this added technological barrier of a phone between you and what you’re actually doing and experiencing.
Dr. Darryl Glover: I love that, and it’s like putting life on autopilot, right? For years, we’ve been blessed with having Transitions®, which has always been cutting-edge technology that gets better and better every year. But now Transitions® have partnered, you know, with Ray-Ban, and they have these Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®, and you got technology all around. It’s not just putting a frame on to look good. It’s a truly functional frame with lens technology that matches that function with the transition lens technology, so I’m super excited. This has changed my life I wear these glasses more than others just simply because of all the functions that go along with it. Now Taylour, what are your thoughts? Is this the perfect gift? Is this what you’re going to give to that loved one?
Taylour Johnson: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m a new dad, and she’s now three months old, so my hands are always full. But I never want to miss anything! And I’m that person, too: I have a case full of sunglasses, and I still wear these more, so I can not worry about switching out my glasses and things like that. Then I can capture anything my little one’s doing with me and make sure I don’t miss that. Or especially walking the dogs, they’re always doing something fun or crazy, so I don’t want to capture that. I actually took these to the Hurricanes hockey game last week, and I got some incredible footage and that was still indoors, but it was amazing. The video quality on these things is crazy. It’s super flat, I love them just for that alone. I thought… it’s gonna be like okay — like, come on, glasses-like video? — but it’s like, like you said, it’s better than my phone, it’s an incredible quality.
Dr. Darryl Glover: I would love to share with you guys if you don’t mind, some videos of some of my precious moments. You were talking about your daughter, man I had this one moment when I first got the glasses where, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I actually was recording myself, recording myself on the phone because I saw my daughter crawling towards uh my brother-in-law, and it was just one of those precious moments where I was like oh my goodness I got to capture this. So I was able to capture it both ways with the cell phone and the glasses, but it’s so cool because it’s a precious moment that I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s also something that makes you appreciate the glasses because now you know that you don’t have to pull out a cell phone to record a moment that will be there for the rest of your life.
I also have two other videos that I wanted to share, one from when I was in the Dominican Republic [where we couldn’t take our cell phones], but guess what? I had these bad boys! The Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®. So I was out there in the mix, all around the place, and I could record while I was driving, so you can see it from my perspective. It was cool. My cell phone was nowhere near me, and I could still store it in my memory. When I got back, I could upload the photos and share them with the whole group of folks that came out, so not only did I get the video, I got photos, and I caught those precious moments. I was the star of the crew that day all because of the technology on my face. Then lastly, I want to show one other story [where] I took my son to Frankie’s here in Durham, North Carolina. He got to go on the go-karts for the first time, so you can see my perspective driving around. So let’s get started with that precious moment with my daughter, so sit back, relax, and check it out:
Dr. Darryl Glover: So when I look at these glasses, I don’t look at them as just regular glasses. I look at them as “precious moment catchers,” right? Because you can do it so effortlessly that it just makes life easier, and allows you to capture those moments that you want for the rest of your life…
One of the best things that ever happened in my life was becoming a father, and now that I have something to really capture those moments. It just it’s changed my life, and I love these glasses. I mean, when it comes to these Ray-Ban Stories, they are really the first smart glasses that people genuinely want to wear. I mean, when you look at the fashion aspect and the ability to have Transitions® in them, it’s a game changer. This has really helped to elevate our profession, and the thing that I love about it is that eye care owns it. This is a huge thing, there are a lot of competitors outside of eye care that has this technology, of course. But it’s not up to par like the Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®. [And] we have a safe space, a safe company, that’s looking out for us to make sure that we can own this technology, and doesn’t go the wrong way. So I want to shout out to Transitions® Optical and Essilor Luxottica for creating this partnership with Meta because it’s game-changing.
USING RAY-BAN STORIES WITH TRANSITIONS® IN REAL LIFE
Dr. Darryl Glover: As eye care professionals, when do you really prefer to wear the Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®? I know for me, it’s any time that I’m outdoors to have that light sensitivity protection with the Transitions®, but again to be able to capture those precious moments. I love it whenever I travel…being in the airport almost weekly, I am surrounded by all types of different lighting that can cause a lot of light sensitivity, and just having that additional protection there with Transitions® makes a world of difference. I know how you’re using yours Becky [with sports], I’d be curious to know, Taylour, how are you using your Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions®?
Taylour Johnson: I literally wear them about five days a week. I wear them to work, so I can do the first-person on how to make glasses. I do put up those posts and whatnot; I want to teach people about making glasses. It’s a process but a great one, and I’m glad I can share that and be hands-free because I need both hands to put the lenses into the cylinder machine. It’s a lot of hands-on things I do at work, so I wear them at work. Anytime I have the baby, of course, it’s automatically as soon as I wake up I put them, and I take out her crib…I don’t want to miss a thing. Then at walking the dogs, going on a run — I’m not as fancy as Becky, I do a little, you know, I’m trying to get back into the workout game — so yeah, I wear them out there, and I love them. I don’t have to worry about [grabbing sunglasses] they transition. They get super dark, too. It like takes two minutes to get dark. I don’t even like to notice a transition until they get dark. I’m like, oh yeah, like I got Transitions® in these, and I keep going. I wear them all the time, I love these things. The quality is crazy, and even in the videos you’re showing this, Dr. Glover, you talking and the quality of that audio — just your voice, it’s like you hear like clear as day. So I love these things, yeah.
Rebecca (Becky) Furuta: Well, the other thing I’m going to say too, is that both Taylour and I spend a lot of time on screens. I mean, I spend probably 50-60% of my day on screens, and one of the benefits of Transitions® is that it’s also reducing the amount of blue light that my eyes are absorbing. So it’s better for my eye health indoors and outdoors. The UV protection for me is huge. 50% of my life has been outside, but 50% of my life has been spent indoors, and I promise you that when I’m indoors and awake, I’m on some screen unless I happen to have a patient in front of me. So you know, having that blue light protection is just as important for me as the UV protection and Transitions® really affords an optimal amount of blue light reduction so that you get that benefit inside and the UV protection outside.
THE FEATURES & TECHNOLOGY OF RAY-BAN STORIES WITH TRANSITIONS®
Dr. Darryl Glover:For those out there that may be unaware of what this technology is really all about, I’m just going to give you a quick breakdown:
When you look at the technology and innovation behind Ray-Ban Stories, it’s beyond impressive. In my personal opinion. it’s unmatched. Some of the features of Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions® are:
- Dual HD cameras for photos and videos, so you’ll never miss a moment
- The voice assistant lets you capture moments hands-free, so you keep your eyes on the world around you.
- Hands-free audio to listen to calls to music and your favorite podcasts by your favorite optometrist Defocus Media (had to put that little plug in there, right?)
- A portable charging case — and for those that have watched the video, this case is pretty cool. It’s not too big, not too bulky.
- A companion app that allows the user to edit and enhance content to share to you know social platforms.
Ray-Ban Stories are just amazing. I mean, they’re glasses that are available in three timeless shapes with 20 frame and lens color combinations. The lens choices include Transitions® Signature Gen 8, clear sun, and prescription. One thing that I love that Ray-Ban did, is that with these stories they were able to kind of take a page out of Transitions® playbook. They have it come in all different shapes, flavors, colors, and all that other jazz. So it really allows you to find that unique design that truly matches your personality but, most importantly, matches your fly as well.
What are your favorite features? What is it that you like the most?
Rebecca (Becky) Furuta: So I should say the optics, looking through them, I mean, it’s important to know that not only are you shooting high-quality video, but looking through the lens, you can actually see really well. I do have a pretty good amount of myopia, I have the prescription lenses in mine right now, and the clarity is fantastic. I see really well through the lens. Then yeah, I mean for me being able to shoot that video hands-free; being a cyclist, I try to keep my hands on the bars as much as I can, especially in race settings. And to be able to say “hey take a picture” or “hey take a video,” and just have my glasses start shooting those images or those videos, that’s actually a really, really cool feature. I could not capture as much content with a phone or even a mounted camera on my bike as I can capture with my glasses, so for me the video and the stills are fantastic. I also like that audio feature. When I’m out running, I don’t want to have earbuds in. Especially right now, I’m in Colorado, and it’s like negative 11 degrees outside, and there’s snow and ice all over. So I’m sometimes running on the road at like five o’clock in the morning, and I really have to be able to hear street noise, and that’s the great thing — I could put on a podcast where I can put on some music, and I can listen to it with the Ray-Ban Stories, but I can also still hear ambient noise. I can still listen to you know if someone’s coming behind me if a car’s coming down the street, and that, for me is an awesome feature.
Taylour Johnson: Yea, all the things Becky said. I love that they’re hands-free, and they just did an update like last week or the week before that that now your Facebook view app is connected to your Spotify, so when I am outside walking the dogs or doing another exercise, I can change my volume, hit next, and it’ll do your next song in your Spotify. So that’s been pretty fun. I also love the option where you can put prescriptions in these, so I do like that they have that option for those that don’t wear uh contacts or they need something to see that you do have that option.
BRINGING THIS NEW EYE CARE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR PRACTICE
Dr. Darryl Glover: Let’s talk about more practice management. How are you communicating with your patients regarding Ray-Ban stories with Transitions®, and are people coming in and asking for it? I mean, what does that dialogue look like in your practices?
Taylour Johnson: Well, shortly after we got these we did have a couple of patients coming in looking for them, but I have been actually having to spread the word about them… what I did to set us apart in my store is we actually made a demo pair. So I have a pair connected to an iPad where they can try them on. They can shoot some video and photos in the store, and we can practice pairing it to show them, hey, this is really easy, it takes 10 seconds…then recently, ever since the Transitions® came out in these, that’s been a game changer. Many people don’t like to switch between glasses anymore. They don’t want to have to do the sunglass and then, “oh wait, where’s my other glass,” so they like to keep everything all in one.
Dr. Darryl Glover: yeah, I love that concept of having an iPad connected with the eyewear. You know, we live a world now where people are used to touching things, and when they go somewhere, they want an experience. So you’re really separating yourself from the practice down the street because when a patient comes into your practice it’s not that ordinary experience. Not only do you have innovation —whether it’s lens technology like Transitions® or frames like Ray-Ban Stories — but you’re actually allowing people to touch things, experience things, and see how it can complement their life or enhance their life at the same time. This is key and how you separate yourself: with the right products, with the right lens technology, and the good experience when patients walk into your practice…. [Becky I’d] love to learn a little bit more about maybe some of your customer feedback but maybe some pearls in regards to how we as eye care professionals can bring this product into our practice and elevate our practice at the same time, and not let it just sit on the shelf.
Rebecca (Becky) Furuta: right I think Taylour kind of touched on this too, this is a product that if you just let it sit on the Shelf that’s exactly where it’s going to stay. People need to engage with the product, and they need to interact with the product … I think the other piece is what you said Dr Glover you have to have the staff on board. Everyone in my office has a set of Ray-Ban Stories so they can actually engage with the product on their own because people will talk about what they use … You have to have some engagement, and you have to have some kind of enthusiasm. Nobody wants to walk into a retail space where everybody looks like they’re having the worst day ever. Nobody wants to walk into a retail space where it’s like a library. People want to come into a social setting where people are having a good time, and they’re having experiences, and they’re talking about interesting things, and if you can create that in your practice, you will have a very successful business model. The key is to find your purpose, pursue your purpose, and be enthusiastic about it, and I guarantee that is that that is the recipe for success and happiness in business and in life.
Dr. Darryl Glover: For all those that are curious about how you can get this into your practice, reach out to your Ray-Ban rep. They will come service you, make sure you have everything you need, and give you all the education.
I want to thank you, Becky, I want to thank you, Taylor. I want to thank Transitions® Optical again for partnering with Defocus Media, and I want to thank you know all the folks behind Ray-Ban Stories with Transitions® for bringing this technology to the forefront and providing a frame that looks good, that feels good, with the ability to put amazing lens technology with Transitions® to really elevate our lifestyles, and to really make us stand out and take eye care to the next level.
Ray-Ban stories with transitions have changed the game. It is the most wanted wearable lens technology or eyewear smart glasses technology out there. To learn more, go to ray-ban.com/usa or go on social media and check out Ray-Ban Stories or Transitions® Lenses and you’ll be able to follow the stories of some of the folks that are out there with this cutting-edge technology.