Nike has teamed up with contact lens maker Bausch and Lomb to create contact lenses called MAXSIGHT. They call these lenses performance-enhancing contact lenses. Actually, these are just tinted version of daily disposal lenses for athletes. Why tinted? Nike claims that that MAXSIGHT has these benefits:
- Reduce glare
- Improve visual acuity
- Block nearly all the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays just like sunglasses, but their optics can also give athletic performance a boost.
You can select between amber and grey-green lenses. The difference between these two lenses are:
- Amber will be meant for fast-moving ball sports in variable light conditions (such as baseball, soccer, softball, field hockey and tennis)
- Grey-green lens is suitable for sports played in bright sunlight where glare and comfort are primary concerns (such as golf, running and rugby).
So, technically, what makes Nike MAXSIGHT different from other tinted contact lens?
- According to the website, the tint on the Nike MAXSIGHT lens covers the entire surface of the lens whereas cosmetic tints usually cover a much smaller surface area of the lens as a way to isolate and alter the perceived color of the wearer’s iris.
- Also, the specific tints on the Nike MAXSIGHT lenses were specifically made to block certain wavelengths of light whereas other tinted lenses serve no function and are strictly for cosmetic purposes.
The inventor of the lenses, Alan Reichow, mentioned that MAXSIGHT sharpen and improve contrast, so they have a brightening effect. Therefore, it can help track fast-moving game activity under variable light conditions. He claimed that the lenses make objects appear sharper by eliminating 90 percent of blue light which is the primary component of “visual noise.”
Not only for athletes, normal recreational wearer can also gain benefits – less general eye strain and the issues associated with fogging, scratching or sweating behind plastic lenses of prescription sports goggles or glasses. Sound great?
However, I do not buy in to the inventor’s claim saying that the red tainted lenses will give an intimidating look to opponent. Imagine you are playing tennis, your opponent will be standing so far away and I doubt you can really see what color is his eyes! Anyway, who cares about your eyes’ color in a competitive sports?
So, who are currently wearing Nike MaxSigh? Golfer Michelle Wie, baseball players Ken Griffey Jr. and A.J. Pierzynski. Rumor also said that some players of Manchester United, the U.S. men’s soccer team and the Texas Longhorns’ football team are wearing these lenses too.
So, does the MaxSight lens give some athletes an unfair advantage and making some sports association to ban them? Not really for now. Many do not believe that the lenses provide the competitive advantage as claimed by Nike. Just like sunglasses or corrective lenses, Nike MaxSight are put under the same category and therefore they are allowed.
Nike MAXSIGHT lenses are daily wear lenses that need to be replaced monthly. They are be available for both those with vision correction needs and for those who do not need vision correction.
For now, Nike MaxSight is the only commercially available sport-tinted contact lens on the market. However, it does not replace sunglasses for full protection of the eye and the surrounding ocular tissue. From the feedback found in some online community, those who wear the lens to office found that they are too dark to wear all day to the office. Hey, I thought that the instruction is to clear to mention that these lenses are meant for sports, and not for day to day activities, including in the office environment.
In the United States, Nike MaxSight is sold at the price of $60 for a six-month supply. It is available corrective and non-corrective versions. For the time being, it is available only in the US and Europe.
Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment
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