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New sunglass range targets active presbyopes

18/07/2018By Matthew Woodley
Australian eyewear company BZ Optics has released a type of active sunglasses that feature small bi focal readers moulded to the rear of the lens.

Designed for presbyopic runners or cyclists, the OZ frame with blue mirrored lenses allows wearers to read their watch, Garmin, GPS or mobile phone without the need to stop and change glasses. The latest addition to the range is a dual moulded frame that features non-slip temples and an adjustable non-slip nosepiece, with lens options of +1.50, +2.00 and +2.50.

BZ Optics founder Mr Kevin Barr, who also established water sports prescription sunglass company Barz Optics, said the idea was one born out of necessity.

“They’re aimed at a particular demographic, which is that cyclist who tends to be probably in denial that they needs glasses to read and doesn’t want their mates to know,” Barr explained.


“They’re aimed at a particular demographic, which is that cyclist who tends to be probably in denial that they need glasses to read and doesn’t want their mates to know.”
Kevin Barr, BZ Optics

“For example, cyclists generally have a little Garmin on their handlebars that tells them how fast they’ve gone, how far, and all sorts of things like that. But in a lot of cases the Garmin numbers don’t increase large enough for people to see them properly.”

Barr also said there had been an unfulfilled demand for bi-focal sunglasses that weren’t polarised.

“I’d been working on a lot of polarised lenses and frames, and a triathlete friend of mine said we needed to do some that are non-polarised – because while polarised sunglasses are great for protection against glare, it doesn’t really suit cycling,” he explained.

“If a road has had a pothole repaired just with tar, polarisation can give the optical illusion that it’s oil or water. The last thing we want customers to do is dodge what they think is a bit of oil and have an accident.”

The business has sold around 7,000 pairs of bi focal sunglasses since opening in 2016, and aside from Australia, it also has a presence in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Croatia, Singapore and the US.

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