Bollé Uses Lens Lab And AI For Enhancing Color Contrast, Including Tennis-Specific Sunglasses
The Bollé EPIC lab in Lyon, France, used artificial intelligence to sort through millions of lens formula combinations to create a fresh perspective on sunglasses and color contrast. The results include new sport-specific lens categories and a brand-new Volt + lens that features high-contrast lenses enhancing all colors instead of just one.
Bollé launched the new Volt + lens in 2021 on the heels of the tennis-specific Phantom Court lens.
“The unique combinations of HD lens tints, molecular photochromic filter with super wide range and platinum anti-fog on the inside only is a technical achievement with patents included, making it a lens that very, very few brands could achieve,” says Tove Fritzell, senior director of product and innovation for Bollé Brands. “We’re partnering with the absolute top specialists on photochromic lenses to reach this level.”
For the tennis-specific Phantom Court, Fritzell says particular pigments magnify the yellow color compared to surrounding colors, highlighting the ball. She says that the photochromic technology used allows for the pigments to do their job in wide range of light conditions.
The new Volt + lens uses the same scientific theory as the Phantom, but with a different process.
“The Phantom lens has targeted color enhancements to enhance a special color,” Fritzell says. “For the Volt, we set out to make the best color enhancing lens on the market. Using artificial intelligence, we browsed the universe of possible chemical combinations to reach the pigment recipe for maximum enhancement across the spectrum, with the criteria to maintain white balance and avoid existing patents.”
The “quite secret” mix of rare element and noble metal compounds known as pigments have the capacity to modify the light transmitted so it clears up and amplifies the signals received by the eye’s cone cells, giving a new type of color experience, Fritzell says.
“Our lens has a neutral color and increases color enhancement just as much on warm colors as on cold colors,” she says. “This doubles the experienced color enhancement compared to other color enhancement lenses, without putting a pink filter on the world. This is a direct benefit from the work with artificial intelligence: the algorithm found the way to do it. It took 20 million iterations to get to the solution, using conventional development methods it would have taken generations to achieve this result.”
The Bollé EPIC lab—the company has a second lab in the works for San Diego—continues to focus on multiple concepts for its lenses. The Phantom Court lens for tennis, which highlights both the yellow color for the ball and white for lines, comes in multiple frames and alongside a mix of Bollé sport-specific lens tints that include designs for cycling, kayaking, hiking and others. The Phantom Court tennis lens was also developed to automatically adapt to changing light conditions while offering 100% UV protection.
But it is the Volt + that expands the brand’s reach into a new world of color contrast, as Bollé moves deeper into performance sport engineering from the foot of the Alps and the EPIC design center in France.