The global eyewear market is expecting rapid growth over the next 7 years. Currently sitting at $115 billion, the industry predicts its market will grow to $172 billion by 2028. Much of this growth will be fueled by changing consumer behavior and changes in eyeglass design.
Consumers are buying eyeglasses more frequently than before. Instead of one pair every few years, many are buying multiple pairs in one year. COVID-19 changed the type of glasses consumers need. Working from home led people to notice changes in their vision faster; many also developed computer vision syndrome. Consumers needed blue light-filtering glasses more than ever before.
To counter the extra expense brought on by changing glasses more often, some savvy consumers are replacing lenses instead of their entire pair of glasses. Buying new lenses is less costly and allows users to keep their personal style. Replacement lenses can also be shipped in the mail after obtaining a new prescription, meaning the customer can cover installation themselves.
Another reason customers are buying new glasses more often is because providers offer more features than ever before. In addition to the blue light-filtering glasses discussed above, providers are also working on special glasses for those who get migraines and/or suffer from light sensitivity. Light adaptive contact lenses that reduce dryness and irritation are growing in popularity for those who prefer contacts. Lens coatings are increasing in both function and variety, from UV protection to anti-fog coating. Anyone who has had to regularly wear a face mask will appreciate glasses less prone to fogging up.
Further down the line, expect to see smart glasses take over the shelves. Right now, smart glasses are mostly a product of science fiction even though a few models exist. Transparent displays with augmented information outside the line of sight can offer wearers increased insight without impairing their natural vision. Suggested uses for smart glasses include engineers working to fix machinery and surgeons who need to track a patient’s vitals during operations. Even everyday people may be able to use them in the future as prices fall with increased competition.