I don’t wear glasses—I’m one of the lucky people who don’t need them (yet). But if I did, I would love Blink. Blink is an on-demand vision testing service that comes to your home, work or anywhere to provide you with a convenient prescription for glasses. Like ClickMechanic (see Getting Your Car Fixed Just Became SO Much Easier And Cheaper), Blink is another tech startup that is making tasks that are normally inconvenient much easier—and cheaper. In fact, you don’t need glasses to see clearly that Blink is officially the best, easiest and most convenient way to get a new prescription for glasses wearers.
And there’s some really cool technology behind Blink. The Blink setup looks a bit like a virtual reality setup. A smartphone, which functions as the brains behind Blink, slides into a device called The Netra which measures the optical power of your eyes. There’s also The Netrometer which helps you figure out the prescription of your existing glasses in case you don’t know and The Netroper which lets you see how your new prescription will work.
It should be noted, however, that Blink does recommend a comprehensive eye exam—Blink is only for getting glasses (as opposed to measuring eye health).
What’s crazy is that all this gear fits into a briefcase that a person Blink refers to as a Visioneer brings to you to test your eyes and get you a new prescription. It also replaces the traditional equipment you see at your optometrist’s office that normally costs thousands of dollars more.
Using Blink works like this: book an appointment, take a 20 minute test, an optometrist will review your results remotely within 24 hours, you’ll get a digital prescription sent out and at that point you can buy new glasses anywhere you’d like. All without ever having to go into an office.
As if all this wasn’t cool enough already, Blink will deliver a free vision test and glasses to a person in need from your own community every time you use Blink.
David Schafran, Blink’s founder and Chief Product Officer tells me exactly why Blink makes so much sense:
“Blink meets consumers where they are—literally. Traditional optometry requires consumers to take time off work to travel to an optical shop to receive a vision test using centuries old technologies and methods. In today’s world where people live busy lives, digest services via apps, and want great experiences, the traditional optometry model doesn’t pass muster. This key statistics says it all: 75% of people who have vision insurance do not even use it! Blink changes that by aligning optometry with new consumer expectations with a convenient service accessible anywhere — starting with NYC, 7 days a week including nights. We even donate free vision tests (and glasses) for people in need in the same communities. We care deeply about making great vision easy, affordable, and accessible for everyone.”
Here on DailyTekk I don’t just like reporting on new startups. Whenever possible I like to connect what they are doing to the real world. And this one is so great because it’s not just about making money—Blink actually helps real people in a tangible, life-enhancing way.
So here’s a story about a guy—John—who was a local union construction worker who has hit tough economic times. For over 30 years John went without having a vision test—due to cost—and had stopped driving because of his vision issues.
After being connected with Blink, in November Jon visited Blink’s offices to pick up his free glasses as part of the company’s social outreach activities. Once he put his glasses on there was a deep feeling of thanks, of hope and appreciation. John now drives to work again and is able to see his family and the world around him the way he wants to.
Want to know something else surprisingly awesome about Blink? “We don’t use eye drops!” David says. “You know, those dilating drops that make your vision fuzzy and hard to see in daylight for a few hours after traditional eye exams? Our tech has removed the need for dilating drops.”
Another big difference between going in to see the Optometrist versus using Blink is that Blink will happily provide you with your PD—or pupillary distance. See, many Optometrists are worried that you won’t buy their expensive glasses; they’re scared you will order online. Not a problem with Blink.
And customer satisfaction with Blink is high. Customers report being 95% satisfied with Blink versus the industry average which sits closer to 90%.
Yep, if I ever need glasses, I’ll be scheduling an appointment with Blink—in the blink of an eye.