The familiar eye exam could be changing radically over the next few years thanks to cheaper smartphone-powered equipment invented by a couple of entrepreneurs.
Eye exams in 5 seconds flat
I read about a company called Smart Vision Labs in Forbes magazine. SVL’s founders have developed a device called the SVOne that is a little attachment camera for an iPhone 5s. For just under $4,000, a doctor can get an SVOne (iPhone included) and conduct exams in 5 seconds per eye from anywhere using wavefront aberrometry instead of common autorefractor technology.
Before you balk at that price, consider that traditional equipment used in optometry and related fields can be upwards of $40,000. So this technological breakthrough shaves 90% off the price of equipment! That’s just amazing.
Even more amazing is this: Think about how this technology could be used in, say, a senior center. Instead of having to cart seniors to the eye doctor, an eye doctor can come to them and assess them in just seconds right where they live!
The entrepreneurs behind the SVOne developed their invention while doing pro bono eye care in Haiti. So this thing is already battle tested. Forbes reports that Smart Vision Labs has raised $6 million in capital. That money will largely be used for sales and marketing to get this technology into the hands of more doctors.
So far more than 200 doctors in 41 states use the SVOne. The company hopes to double that doctor count by the end of the year.
The real takeaway for you is this: The secret ingredient of us as a country is our ability to never stop inventing, never stop creating new ideas and never stop building new businesses. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, you may fall flat on your face. But if you don’t take a chance, you’ll never know if you have the next big idea on your hands!