Eyewear Market Grows as Population Ages

Reportlinker Review is a series of posts featuring Innovations, Social and Economic Megatrends to understand the World of Tomorrow. Each post is illustrated with statistics for one industry.

 Reportlinker’s Eyewear Industry Review in a nutshell

  • 90% of eyeglass purchases are made in retail stores
  • Intel partners with eyeglass company to make smart glasses
  • Athletes target customers

How is the eyewear market ?

The global eyewear market is growing as the population ages and fashion trends change.

The market is comprised of three segments: contact lenses, sunglasses and eyeglasses.  Customers purchase eyewear for both vision correction and as a fashion accessory, but prescription eyeglasses is the largest segment.

The transition from prescription eyeglasses to contacts also is fueling market growth.

Men make up the majority of eyewear purchases, but sales to women are expected to increase.

Nearly 90% of purchases are made in retail locations because customers prefer to see and touch products prior to purchase.

Eyeglasses are increasingly being manufactured from lightweight materials.

Meanwhile, microchip manufacturer Intel has partnered with Oakley, a division of eyewear giant Luxottica, to produce smart eyewear.

The Radar Pace sunglasses tracks distance, speed and heartrate and connects to a smartphone using an app.

It also contains a microphone, allowing users to ask the glasses questions or listen to music.  Via Bluetooth, it can make and receive texts and phone calls.

The feedback users receive from the device is designed to be motivational and encouraging.  It operates using Intel’s speech recognition software Real Speech.

The device is comparable to Google Glass.

Radar Pace became available for sale days after Snap Inc., the owner of Snapchat, debuted its own smart eyeglasses.

Target Customer

Radar Pace is intended for athletes and for those who cannot afford personal trainers.

“Combining Oakley’s performance-centric design aesthetic with Intel’s experience-driven technology, Radar Pace delivers a truly innovative and personalized training mechanism for athletes of all skill levels,” Oakley said in a statement.

The glasses retail for $450.  The partnership with Intel and Oakley began in 2014.

A second pair of Intel smart eyewear was displayed at Paris Fashion Week recently.  The glasses, designed by fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, tracks breathing, heartrate and brain patterns.  It is intended to track the wearer’s stress level.

The glasses use Intel’s Curie module which is manufactured specially for wearable technology.

There are no plans to commercialize Chalayan’s eyewear.

ReportLinker Review – Global Eyewear Market

  • During the period 2016-2020, the eyewear market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% globally. (source: TechNavio)
  • By 2020, the market is forecasted to be valued at $142.18 billion. (source: Grand View Research)
  • By 2024, the market size is forecasted to be valued at $184.03 billion. (source: Grand View Research)
  • Over the period 2015-2019, the ophthalmology devices market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% globally. (source: TechNavio)