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Oakley’s Prizm lens tech: Catcher in the eye

Oakley’s latest in highly specialised lenses are lifestyle-altering

The thing with technology is that its scientific approach to problem-solving has two possible outcomes: (a) it succeeds, or (b) it opens up new ways to tackle the problem. Either something works or else it leads to new questions to be answered, both of which eventually contribute to improvement or improvisation.

To attain such levels of success, precision and dog-determined focus on the task at hand are needed. It helps then when your expertise is driven by passion, which then delivers the drive to continue even in the face of adversity.

Simply put, problem-solving has more to do with coming at the problem again and again; the lightbulb moments are the culmination of hours of poring over the data.

Oakley’s Prizm lens tech: Catcher in the eye

What I am building up to with so much patience is nothing life-and-death related but definitely lifestyle-altering. I am talking about a small firm which has dedicated itself to redefine optics especially for sports use.

Since the invention of lenses, they have gotten thinner, sharper, and more durable. Some lenses are specially built to control light flow, while some others eliminate certain components of the colour spectrum.

The Prizm lens technology from Oakley has been quite the game-changer. Okay, I loathe that term too, game-changer. I mean it’s nearly two decades into the 21st Century and we still don’t have X-ray vision or laser-shooting sunglasses!

We have Polaroid technology, which is still unmatched when it comes to certain aspects of sight, like leaving out the horizontal component of light, something which eliminates surface reflections, the kind one sees on the road while driving, or else on the surface of a water body. One can see why fishermen and race-car drivers would want Polaroid tech. Then there were photo-chromatic lenses which would darken when exposed to light, thereby reducing the need to carry numbered/powered sunglasses when out. This technology improved with time and came to rest at a point when even ambient light was enough to sensitise them a shade darker.

Oakley’s Prizm lens tech: Catcher in the eye

But Prizm does neither of what those two things do. Instead, it leaves out certain components of light to create the ultimate contrast ratio to maximise visibility. In short, this isn’t a blanket treatment of light for all circumstances. A person riding a bike on a road has a different need than, say, someone playing golf, or someone out on the high seas. Each of them would want a different colour to be left out from their spectrum to provide improved visuals. And just like a prism refracts light, the Prizm lens will break down the light entering the lens into its constituent components and selectively hold back the undesirable ones.

Oakley’s Prizm lens tech: Catcher in the eye

The downside is that there is no one Prizm for all special situations and weather/visibility conditions. In general, they can come in either a warm base or a cool base colour, and depending on the activity planned, they can advise you a specific lens. The trouble is that even for any given activity, like running or cycling, depending on whether one is attacking the roads or a trail, the Prizm lens for the purpose could be different. There are around eight types to choose from, and by having separate ones even for shallow and deep waters, Oakley is certainly leaving no stone unturned. So, if you believe that tech can enhance performance or guarantee safety, a good lens should be a quintessential part of your training or race-day kit.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:40:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadgets/oakley-prizm-lens-techcatcher-in-the-eye/article26112192.ece

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