September 27, 2018
A team of students from the University of Southern Indiana’s Technology Commercialization Academy (TCA) identified a commercial opportunity by taking intellectual property from NSWC Crane patents and developing Mechanically Adjustable Glasses Instilling Comfort (M.A.G.I.C.).
During the 12-week program, TCA students traveled to the naval base to gain insight about the transfer of military-developed technologies to businesses. From there, they were responsible for taking that intellectual property and applying it towards pains consumers are facing in their daily lives.
The M.A.G.I.C. team (Collin Culiver, Ethan Ellinger, Logan Vest and Chris Weaver) generated their idea by using intellectual property developed for an adjustable firearm grip.
“The adjustable firearm grip is something we started with, which was developed to reduce strain on soldiers who were shooting,” said Culiver. “During the ideation process, I had a headache because my glasses weren’t fitting right, which I had recently bought. So, I thought why not use this adjustability for glasses.”
The team began research on the current guess and check method used for fitting glasses and found that it takes far too much time and requires a variety of tools. The one size fits all M.A.G.I.C. device gives precise measurements without the need for additional tools, while speeding up that process.
“With our first idea, we were able to research where exactly in the glasses we could implement that firearm adjustability (technology), within the bridge width, lens width and leg length, while also instilling comfort for the consumer,” said Culiver.
The team originally thought these glasses should be sold by online vendors, such as Warby Parker, who design, manufacture, market and sell their glasses to consumers. Their thought was that these glasses would allow such companies to reduce costs and increase satisfaction by allowing the consumer to adjust their glasses to the right fit quickly. Armed with an adjustable prototype, the M.A.G.I.C. team sought market validation.
“We had a wonderful interview with local optometrist, Dr. Brittney McWilliams, who told us that consumer pain does still exist, but advised us to market more towards optometrists instead of the everyday glasses wearer, because it was something that she could see herself using,” said Culiver.
By pivoting to a new target market, eye care professionals, the M.A.G.I.C. device could save the optometry market around 277 million dollars in the United States alone by decreasing the fitting time by 30 minutes or more.
“The value of M.A.G.I.C. is to provide eye care professionals with a quick and precise method of fitting glasses, by reducing the time it takes to service every customer,” said Culiver.
For more information about the TCA visit USI.edu/TCA, or email Josh McWilliams, Technology Commercialization Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Delaney Somers, USI Opportunity Development Communications Intern