Global Vision 2020 is a nonprofit organization focused on delivering vision correction to those with no or limited access to traditional eye care. While Kevin White, the nonprofit’s founder, had a clear vision, he needed support to take his idea from concept to reality. Avient proudly accepted the challenge to support the design and development of a diagnostic device that could easily and efficiently determine the eyeglass prescriptions for many under-resourced communities.
Working with White, Avient helped to bring his invention to life– the USee™ vision testing system. Since clinical trials began in 2016, this system has delivered correct-strength glasses to approximately 50,000 people in 48 countries. The USee™ enables those with blurred vision to dial in their best optical acuity while viewing an eye chart. Trained, local ‘refractionists’, assist in this process, and it takes approximately 15 minutes to deliver prescription glasses for less than $5 per pair.
“I first started working on this problem more than 14 years ago when on international outreach missions in the U.S. Marine Corps,” said White. “Why did I choose this particular issue? As a wearer of eyeglasses since the age of seven, I am acutely aware that if left uncorrected, poor vision hinders education, limits prospects for employment, is a leading cause of vehicular accidents, and prevents individuals from attaining personal independence and prosperity. Clear sight is truly a life-changing gift.”
To bring USee™ from concept to completion, Avient’s team of industrial designers and engineers combined their expertise in materials science, manufacturing and design to overcome performance and production challenges. They received a prestigious industrial design award for their hard work – a 2019 IDEA Gold award in the Social Impact Design category from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). IDEA is one of the most rigorous design competitions around the world. It was judged by approximately two dozen global design experts, which included more than 1600 entries from 24 countries.
To give some perspective, there were only 19 designated Gold winners from among the 101 design awards presented. The USee™ device will be part of the permanent collection at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn, Mich.), an IDSA partner.
“As an inventor, handing over your initial idea to a designer is like handing over your child and asking them to take it through college graduation,” White said. “This award is proof that the USee™ device not only graduated but was the valedictorian. I can’t thank Avient and its design team enough for donating their time, passion and expertise to help change the world with the gift of clear sight.”
Avient aims to guide sustainable philanthropy by working on inventions like the USee™ with organizations committed to making the world a better place. Thanks to Global Vision 2020 and Avient, the USee™ has a positive impact on improving vision for billions of people around the globe who need vision correction but have no access to it.
Most recently, Global Vision 2020 was awarded the 2020 Patent for Humanity Award by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the patent filed for the USee™. With thousands of applicants from all over the world, the USee™ was again recognized as a game changing idea that will transform millions of lives. The awards showcase how patent holders with vision are pioneering innovative ways to provide affordable, scalable and sustainable solutions.
Avient’s design team assisted with the design, process analysis and production of the injection-molded plastic USee™ device, which includes a copolyester frame, medical-grade polycarbonate lenses, and acetal for the dials and gears.