Lens file: Varilux X series

Varilux X series is the new generation of Varilux lenses, designed for the modern day varifocal lens wearer. Audé Bouillet and Andy Hepworth explain

Varilux X series will allow wearers to capture seamlessly every detail within arm’s reach and beyond.

Product description

The whole innovation process leading to the development of Varilux X series was completely re-invented to ensure complete wearer satisfaction with the final product. New methodologies were introduced to understand exactly what a modern day presbyope demands from their spectacle correction, such as selfie videos and a house lab.

More than 2,700 wearers worldwide were involved in the conception of Varilux X series. Multiple research studies with this group strongly suggested the needs of today’s presbyopes have changed from previous generations.

  • Multi-tasking is the norm, and most use a wide range of digital devices.
  • The majority report always ‘feeling rushed’.1
  • 90% of their time is spent indoors,2 meaning that presbyopes are mostly using near and intermediate distances. Listening to wearers, everything that matters happens within arm’s reach: not just undertaking visual tasks as close vision is associated with personal space and emotional situations.3

This new way of life impacts on visual demands and what wearers expect from their lenses. They want to keep up with their pace of life and be able to navigate seamlessly from task to task.

Technical features

The Near Vision Behaviour is a 4 in 1 measurement combining postural and visual behaviour in near vision

Based on wearers’ needs and the challenges that they face today, Varilux X series has re-invented the concept of arm’s length, evolving from a single near vision position to multiple near distances.

Previously, in varifocal design, near vision was considered to be based upon a single plane at 40cm for one single gaze direction (40cm at 36°). With the Varilux X series, the full range of visual needs at near is taken into account. These multiple near distances correspond to a sphere between 40 and 70cm, at arm’s length (from 22° to 34°).

Varilux X series introduces a new reference criterion: the volume of vision. This pioneering approach revolutionises lens conception and is made possible by the new Xtend technology.

In response to users’ experiences, Varilux X series has re-invented arm’s length vision, moving from one ‘near’ to ‘multiple’ near distances

Varilux X series employs a combination of three technologies:

1 Nanoptix – novel semi-finished design.

2 Synchroneyes – novel binocular vision power distribution.

3 Xtend – a revolution in lens design based on new calculation software, currently with 15 pending patents.4

In order to provide the best volume of vision possible, Varilux researchers first captured wearers’ visual needs.5 To do so, tests were conducted in the Movis lab (Essilor’s Motion and Vision Science laboratory). Wearers had sensors and infrared cameras capturing their working distances, along with the angles at which seven different activities were performed.

Through Xtend technology, Varilux researchers have completely re-shaped a specific zone, now termed the arm’s length vision zone (ALV).

Near vision behaviour

With new lifestyles and the ever greater emphasis on near vision, the term near vision behaviour has been adopted and addresses this evermore important wearer requirement.

By recreating a familiar task in practice, this measurement is easily taken and enhances the performance of Varilux X series lenses to the wearer.

The near vision behaviour measurement takes into account a wearer’s behaviour and posture while replicating a reading task, ensuring that their own vision volume is positioned and shaped exactly where and how they need it.

Each wearer behaves differently when it comes to performing a near vision task. That is why knowing each wearer’s behaviour is key to providing them with:

  • The best possible vision.
  • The best postural comfort.

The near vision behaviour (NVB) is a four in one measurement combining postural and visual behaviour in near vision. It is an imitation of a reading task, undertaken on a tablet, and is termed pseudo reading.

95% of wearers were satisfied when multi-tasking within arm’s reach

NVB tracks the reader’s eye saccades to assess their visual needs and optimise the shape and the position of the volume of vision.

So, the new terminology states that the Varilux X series with NVB provides the wearer with a personalised volume of vision. The NVB is recorded as an alphanumerical code (Eyecode) and is unique to each patient. This novel personalised parameter is available in two designs within the Varilux X series range, the Varilux X track 2 and the Varilux Xclusive 4D.

Benefits to patients

With the Varilux X series, wearers will:

  • Experience extended vision within arm’s reach.
  • Benefit from the highest volume match with their visual needs at arm’s length.6
  • No longer need to move their head to maintain clear vision.

To validate the performance of the lens, extensive wearer tests were conducted in three countries, including the UK, with the Farnham Vision Care Research and the universities of Bradford, Aston and Manchester taking part. This research suggests:

  • Varilux X series deliver a high level of satisfaction at all distances.7
  • 86% of wearers prefer Varilux X series to Varilux S series.8
  • 95% of wearers are satisfied when multi-tasking within arm’s reach.9
  • In all situations tested, wearers find that they need very little head movement to find the right zone when multitasking within arm’s length.10

The visual benefits of NVB were tested.

  • 94% of wearers experienced easy access to near vision.11
  • 90% experienced easy adaptation.12

Product availability

The Varilux X series range is made of three design optimisations:

  • Varilux X design /short
  • Varilux X track 2
  • Varilux Xclusive 4D

NVB is mandatory for both Varilux Xtrack 2 and Varilux Xclusive 4D. The unique Eyecode is available across the whole range. The Varilux X series is available across a wide range of materials and options, including Transitions and Xperio polarised. For full range availability, visit ecp.essilor.co.uk. As one would expect, the Varilux X series lenses are covered by the Varilux guarantee.

In tests wearers found very little head movement to find the right zone when multitasking within arm’s length

Dispensing/ordering information

Extra parameters beyond traditional mono PDs, heights and centration are required when ordering Varilux Xtrack 2 and Varilux Xclusive 4D.

Audé Bouillet is Product and Services Project Manager and Andy Hepworth is Professional Relations Manager, both for Essilor Ltd.


1 Pew Research Centre (2015) & Toledoblade, Gen X interviewee (2014).

2 Ericsson, Optimising the indoor experience (2013).

3 Concept building — Qualitative research 2015 – 5 Focus groups France & Spain, ~40 consumers.

4 15 pending patents referring to standard, short and personalised versions of Varilux X series.

5 Volume of needs represents the sum of the vision volume of all objects within arm’s length. Each object’s individual volume is calculated based non an average volume over 20 subjects positioned at an average distance from the object

6 75% match with Varilux X design, highest match vs eight premium progressive lenses from Essilor’s main competitors. % match is calculated on the base of lens sets: [-4.00D Add +2.00, -4.00D Add +2.00], [-3.00 D Add +2.00, -1.50 D Add +2.00], [Plano Add +2.00, Plano Add +2.00], [+1.50D Add +2.00, +2.50D Add 2.00], [+4.00D Add +2.00, +4.00D Add +2.00], 2016 evaluation.

7 International multi-centre study (n=66). For overall and dynamic vision, wearers rated on a 10-point scale from ‘Not clear at all’ to ‘very clear’. Good visual quality is from 7 to 10. For distance, intermediate and near vision, wearers rated on the same scale and on a 10-point scale from ‘Very narrow’ to ‘Very wide’. Good visual quality is when average clarity and width is from 7 to 10.

8 Single centre study, Eurosyn, France (n=42). Among wearers who made a choice (n=28/42)

9 Single centre study, Eurosyn, France (n=42). Wearers rated on a 10-point scale from ‘Not satisfied at all’ to ‘Very satisfied’. Satisfied wearers are from 7 to 10 (n=19 to 42/42 depending on activities). Wearers rated ‘satisfaction with focus’ for ‘Multitasking’ activitiy.

10 Single centre study, Eurosyn, France (n=42). % of wearers who need little or no head movements to see clear.

11 International multi-centre study (n=51). Wearers rated on a 10-point scale from ‘Very difficult’ to ‘Very easy’. Easy transition from distance to near vision is from 7 to 10.

12 International multi-centre study (n=51). Wearers rated on a 10-point scale from ‘Very difficult’ to ‘Very easy’. Easy adaptation is from 7 to 10.