New Technology, Innovations Awards Highlight Transitions Academy 2024

ORLANDO, Fla. – Transitions Academy 2024 landed in Orlando, Florida, from Sunday, February 11, through Tuesday, February 13. With over 1,350 attendees, the event provided industry professionals the opportunity to connect, learn, and immerse themselves in all things optical. 

A New Generation of Transitions
In the opening session of Academy, the Transitions team shared its latest release: Transitions GEN S. Officially available in the U.S., France, Italy, and Latin America in April 2024, the new line of Transitions has the fastest fade-back time of any Transition lens. 

Transitions GEN S is the fastest dark lens1* in the clear to dark photochromic category. It is fully clear indoors and darkens in seconds2 outdoors. It is ultra-responsive to light, reaching category three levels of darkness in 25 seconds3* and fading back in less than two minutes.4*

Transitions GEN S is available in eight colors, including a brand-new addition: Ruby. All colors are optimized to be true-to-tone at all stages, offering vibrant tints in any light. 

Transitions GEN S offers better vision quality, faster5* to ensure a continuous visual experience in harmony with varied and changing light environments. With its responsiveness to light, it provides 39% faster vision recovery from intense bright lights6(A)* versus clear lenses. During fade back, tests have shown a 39.5% improvement in contrast sensitivity6(B)* and 40% faster vision recovery6(B)* versus the previous generation. 

Moreover, Transitions GEN S provides ultimate light protection, darkening outdoors, blocking 100% UVA and UVB rays, and filtering up to 32% of blue violet light in the clear state, and up to 85% when activated.7

A ‘Game Changer’
EssilorLuxottica’s leadership team was eager to share the news of the GEN S lenses, including how the lenses will be marketed, what ECPs can expect, and their goals for the new technology. 

“Our R&D team is always trying to push and make things better and better with each new generation of Transitions, but we wanted to make Transitions GEN S perfect,” said Chrystel Barranger, president, Transitions Optical, and president, EssilorLuxottica Wholesale EMEA. “It had to be dark. It had to be fast. It had to include colors that performed the same way in light and dark environments. We knew the promise this held for consumers – glasses that adapt to the light, that protect their eyes – and we had to deliver.”

“Calling this a ‘game changer’ gives justice to what the product is,” said Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of EssilorLuxottica North America. “It’s not an improvement on the technology – it’s not better than GEN 8. It’s totally a game changer in terms of the performance it can deliver with style.”

Educating Attendees
Following the announcement of the Transitions GEN S lenses, several of the educational breakout sessions at Transitions Academy focused on different elements of the new product line. These sessions included: 

-GEN S Master Class: Transitions Certified Live: This session focused on the three pillars of Transitions GEN S – Speed, Style, and Smart. 

-GEN S Unleashed: Champions in Action: This session focused on how ECPs can become and create Transitions Champions in their teams. 

-GEN Sight: New Vision: This session focused on the latest science and research on light and vision. 

-GEN Spectacular: Spectacular Pairing: This session focused on the best strategies for ECPs to employ when helping patients mix and match frames and Transitions lenses. 

In between breakout sessions, attendees could visit the Transitions Brand Experience at Academy, featuring hands-on demos, a GEN S Magic Wall, take quizzes on their light sensitivity and Transitions shade preferences, and try on pairs of the GEN S lenses for the photo booth. 

Beyond Academy, Leonardo will also have a full educational session dedicated to the ins and outs of Transitions GEN S lenses. This will include instructions for use, product capabilities, new features, and more. 

Additionally, there will be a full educational presentation on Transitions GEN S at Vision Expo East, where attendees can see in-person demos and learn more about the GEN S lenses. 

Honoring Innovators in the Industry
Following a presentation from Keynote Speaker Cassandra Worthy, who shared her “change enthusiasm” model with attendees to help them embrace change and put their new Academy learnings into action, the final event of Transitions Academy was the Transitions Innovations Awards Ceremony. The awards honored individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to innovating their businesses over the past year. 

All of the Innovations Awards nominees were honored at the start of the awards ceremony.

The awards included: 

  • Best in Training: Vision Source
  • U.S. Eye Care Practice of the Year: Harvey & Lewis Opticians
  • Canadian Eye Care Practice of the Year: Optique Cloutier 
  • Channel Partner of the Year: Vision Source
  • U.S. Retailer of the Year: Walmart Vision Center
  • Canada Retailer of the Year: Lunetterie New Look Eyewear
  • 2023 Transitions Healthy Sight Ambassador: Ric Peralta 
  • Transitions Global Recognitions: 
    • Latin America Recognitions: Gradual (Brazil), OPTEC (Hispanic Latin America), DEVLYN (Hispanic Latin America)
    • Asia-Pacific Recognitions: OptikSeis (Asia-Pacific), Novavision (Greater China)
    • Europe Recognitions: Boots – Wessex Optical (U.K.), Edgard Opticiens (France)

*Tests carried out on gray lenses. Photochromic performance may vary across colors and lens materials and is influenced by temperature and UV exposure. 

1. For gray lenses in the clear to dark (category 3) photochromic category. Transitions GEN S lenses fade back faster to 70% transmission while achieving less than 14% transmission when activated at @ 23°C.  

2. For polycarbonate & CR39 lenses across colors achieving 18% transmission at 23°C. 

3. For gray polycarbonate & CR39 lenses achieving 18% transmission @ 23°C. 

4. For gray polycarbonate & CR39 lenses with a premium anti-reflective coating fading back to 70% transmission @ 23°C. 

5. Vision quality improved in challenging light conditions, notably when moving from a bright to a darker environment (source B, Transitions GEN S compared to Transitions Signature GEN 8), in bright to very bright light situations (source A, Transitions GEN S compared to clear lenses) and in low light with peaky stray light (source A, Transitions GEN S compared to clear lenses). 

6. A: Subject-masked cross-over randomized controlled investigation performed in 2023 on 30 healthy participants (19.2 ± 1.3 years). Testing light stress (discomfort and disability glare, photostress recovery) with the clear and darkest states of gray Transitions GEN S 1.6 index lenses with a premium anti-reflective coating compared to clear 1.6 index lenses with a premium anti-reflective coating. Principal Investigator Prof Billy R. Hammond. 

B: Subject-masked cross-over randomized controlled investigation performed in 2023 on 10 healthy pre-trained participants (29.5 ± 4.0 years). Testing contrast sensitivity during fade back with gray Transitions GEN S 1.6 index lenses with a premium anti reflective coating compared to gray Transitions Signature GEN 8 1.6 index lenses with a premium anti reflective coating.   Principal Investigator Prof Pablo Artal. Accepted abstract at ARVO 2024. Duarte-Toledo R, Mompeán J et al., A new photochromic lens improves contrast sensitivity during fade back. 

7. For polycarbonate and CR39 lenses across colors. Blue-violet light is measured between 400nm and 455nm (ISO TR 20772:2018)   
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