TECHNOLOGY

Striving to give concrete form to safety and comfort: Some of the essential elements of Yamamoto Kogaku, built up over more than 100 years since its founding, are introduced below.

POINT.1 Design abilities

Our design process starts by thinking about what we can do for safety and comfort

  • Awards won in every year 1996-2018
    Awards won for 22 consecutive years

  • Awards won in 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2016
    Awards won for two consecutive years (2016,2017)

  • Winner in 2016 and 2017

We incorporate the “SAFE Design” philosophy into all of our products, through design and production conforming to the following ideals:

  • ・ Secure: Designs that are safe for the wearers and others around them
  • ・ Aesthetic: Making products, wearers, and vision more beautiful
  • ・ Fit in: Fitting the body and fitting in with the environment, with style
  • ・ Essential: Identifying possible issues and concentrating on the essentials

POINT.2 Design ability

Achieving safety and comfort

Around the world, there are few other manufacturers who integrate lens design, based on specialized optical expertise, and frame design to realize layouts that enable lenses to demonstrate their maximum performance. We design and produce a wide range of eyewear for specific purposes, from the ground up. In addition, as a Japanese manufacturer with a history of more than 100 years, we specialize in eyewear that fits Japanese users perfectly, based on a wealth of knowledge concerning Japanese physiques. In addition to our standard facial data, when needed we also scan athletes’ facial data for use in development.

We use the model of human head which is created with based on data we have accumulated over many years. In addition, we scan head data of athletes if necessary, and use them for development.

Clearing high levels of safety standards

Not only are our products made in Japan, but they also clear official standards and satisfy our own, unique standards, set at even higher levels. Our expertise, polished through meeting the needs of top athletes who require accurate fields of view as well as industrial fields that demand safety in multifaceted ways, continues to advance even further.

Sincere attitude of manufacturing has been highly evaluated

Our enthusiasm toward manufacturing has been evaluated in various ways, and at the same time it has started to spread to social contribution activities such as providing products to Paralympic sports organizations.

POINT.3 Made in Japan

Taking responsibility for safety and comfort

Over the more than 100 years since our birth in 1911 as a lens processing company in Osaka, nearly all Yamamoto Kogaku products have been produced in Japan. Since we are responsible for ensuring that users can rely on the products they take in hand, we stress production in Japan. This ensures that lenses are cut according to their designs, their surfaces are coated beautifully, and products are assembled properly. It also reflects our understating that in processes that involve considerable manual tasks, a single deviation could mean that the products would not demonstrate their intended performance levels, and that there is no way to recover from a problem with a product used in an industrial field where absolute reliability is essential or in major competitions in which athletes must overcome the challenges before them at each individual moment in time.

Company details

POINT.4 Lens technologies

Technologies that realize safety and comfort

Lens technology to control light

  • UV-blocking effects, a basic function of lenses

    UV rays can cause severe damage not only to the skin but to the eyes as well. It has been pointed out that exposing the eyes to strong sunlight over a long period of time results in more than just painful irritation—it also is one cause of disabilities of the eyes. All lenses used in SWANS products (with the exception of some special-purpose Yamamoto products) block 99.99% or more of harmful UV rays—no matter which lens color you choose.

  • Polarizing lenses

    These lenses are equipped with special filtering functions that effectively block out glare in the vision due to diffuse reflection of light from the sun and other sources. Specifically, they enable a clear view of unevenness in the road by restraining glare from the road’s surface, make it possible to see inside buildings and other structures by reducing diffuse reflection of light on windows, and make it possible to see fish and underwater features by reducing glare from the water’s surface.
    In addition, unlike low-priced polarizing lenses, which are susceptible to water damage and lack durability, Yamamoto Kogaku’s polarizing lenses have the durability needed for use in a wide range of outdoor recreation environments (including uses in extreme temperature and humidity and underwater).

  • High-visibility lenses capable of emphasizing key subjects

    Our ULTRA Lenses are capable of improving visibility by bringing intended subjects into sharp relief, through emphasizing certain color gamuts specified according to their objectives and purposes of use. Since the color tones that should be emphasized in sporting activities vary with their

    Sport Category Lens Color name Effect
    ULTRA for Snow ULTRA Light Purple To suit the needs of winter-sports environments in Japan, characterized by frequent clouds and snowfall, these lenses succeed in increasing visibility of uneven snow surfaces even under low light conditions. Another important distinguishing feature of these lenses is the way they make it easier for the eyes to adapt in situations involving rapid variation between light and dark, such as on ski courses in the woods.
    Photochromatic ULTRA Light Purple These lenses were developed in response to calls from users for lenses that made it possible to use the features of ULTRA Light Purple under an even wider range of conditions. In addition to adjusting brightness automatically in response to levels of UV rays, these lenses also support comfortable riding under a wider range of weather and environmental conditions.
    ULTRA for Golf ULTRA Ice Blue These lenses, which bring into stark relief colors in the golfing environment—such as the white of the golf ball and the green of the turf—make it easier to follow the ball’s trajectory thanks to higher visibility. They also demonstrate their abilities across the full range of ball sports as a whole, not just golf.
    ULTRA Light Ice Blue These lenses have a color that adapts the properties of the ULTRA Ice Blue lenses especially for use under cloudy conditions and in the low light of the morning and early evening. In light of their properties, they may allow some glare under bright skies.
    Polarizing ULTRA Ice Blue These lenses, combining high visibility with polarizing performance, are designed for use under bright skies. While the standard ULTRA Ice Blue lenses are slightly superior purely in terms of high visibility, these lenses’ polarizing feature makes the grain of the turf stand out and cuts diffuse reflection thoroughly.
    ULTRA for Fishing Polarizing ULTRA Light Green By combining high visibility with polarizing effects, these lenses make fish and underwater features even more clearly visible than previous polarizing lenses. They also improve the visibility of lures and other artificial bait by emphasizing the contrast of their colors.
    ULTRA for Inspection ULTRA Clear Blue Under specific light conditions, these lenses for inspection, developed jointly with major automakers, emphasize imperfections in molded products to make them more easily visible than with the naked eye.
  • Photochromatic lenses

    Photochromatic lenses are a special lenses that change brightness in response to the strength of sunlight. These lightly tinted lenses darken under strong sunlight, with their tint darkening to the maximum degree as the sunlight strengthens and lightening as it weakens. Since the color of the lens itself changes with the brightness of the field of view, they can be used under a wide range of conditions. In addition,

  • Laser-light shielding protective gear

    Laser technologies, which are expected to see even more increased use in fields such as precision machinery, manufacturing, food products, and medicine, constantly involve the risks of malfunction or diffuse reflection of laser light. Under the Yamamoto brand, we protect workers’ eyes and health and strengthen safety in the working environment as a whole through eyewear, shields, curtains, and other special-purpose products developed to absorb laser light.

Anti-fogging technologies to maintain clear fields of view

Fog resistance

  • Our strongest anti-fogging treatment

    Our Premium Anti-Fog coating boasts even stronger fog resistance than our standard anti-fogging coating. Even though the principles of anti-fogging treatments used vary by field—for example, hydrophilic anti-fogging technologies are used in swimming goggles while water-absorbing anti-fogging technologies are used in snow goggles—our recent R&D initiatives have succeeded in tripling the anti-fogging performance of swimming goggles and doubling it in snow goggles.。

    Snow goggles

    The anti-fogging lenses on SWANS snow goggles combat fogging by absorbing saturated vapor that builds up inside the goggles in the surfaces of the lenses, like a sponge. Since drying the lenses restores their absorbency, they maintain high anti-fogging performance. Our newly developed Premium Anti-Fog coating is a high-performance coating that doubles this absorbency.

    (Compared to the standard coating)

    Double water absorption capacity than ever !

    PREMIUM ANTI-FOG, Current anti-fog absorption, Premium Anti-fog absorption

    Swimming goggles
    Four times the durability (compared to our other products)

    The hydrophilic ingredients used in the anti-fogging coating on our swimming goggle lenses reduce soiling due to swimming pool water and peeling due to rubbing under repeated (normal) use.
    Premium Anti-Fog successfully increases durability fourfold by increasing the volume of these hydrophilic ingredients used.

    (Based on results of testing by Yamamoto Kogaku)

    Durability Durability of premium anti-fog is 4 times greater than regular anti-fog.

    Triple the vapor absorbency (compared to our other products)

    Anti-fogging treatment applies a coating of hydrophilic ingredients to absorb vapor generated on the inner side of the lens. Premium Anti-Fog triples the vapor absorbency to eliminate the cause of fogging, by increasing the volume of these hydrophilic ingredients used.

    (Based on results of testing by Yamamoto Kogaku)

    Absorption Moisture absorbing capability is 3 times more powerful than regular anti-fog coating

  • Using an electric fan to remove fogging

    This technology forces out moisture buildup inside the goggles, using the power of an electric motor. The fan, specially designed for use in goggles, is capable of replacing the air inside the goggles efficiently. Furthermore, a turbo fan equipped with a sensor detects humidity inside the goggles and automatically forces moisture out above a certain level of humidity, enabling the user to concentrate on riding. In addition, the switches on each of our Turbo Goggles have been designed for ease of use even when wearing gloves.

  • Using the power of design to remove fogging

    The A-Blow System is a revolutionary new system that makes it possible to ventilate thoroughly the inside of the goggles through the single action of turning a lever on the bottom of the frame to push the lenses forward. By forcing out warm air inside the goggles and bringing in fresh exterior air, it can control and eliminate lens fogging.

    Note: Never ski with the lenses open. Doing so is very dangerous.

  • High-performance coatings combining anti-fogging and scratch-resistance

    These coatings, based on petroid coating (PET-AF) technologies, balance both anti-fogging and scratch-resistance. While due to the counteractions between their scratch-resistance and anti-fogging features these coatings result in surfaces that are not quite as hard as those of petroid coatings, they improve safety by making it possible to secure visibility under conditions prone to fogging.

Scratch- and shock-resistance

  • Scratch- and shock-resistant hard coatings even stronger than polycarbonate

    Polycarbonate materials come in a wide range of grades: from the low-cost materials used in CD discs to the high-strength materials in astronauts’ helmets for use in extravehicular activities. Of course, the materials used in our lenses are of optical grade, as in the latter example, but they would not be suitable to long-term use if the lenses were to scratch easily in regular use. For this reason, the scratch-resistance of polycarbonate needs to be strengthened further for use in more severe environments and in light of safety considerations. Our proprietary petroid lens materials have been developed to deliver an optimal balance between formability and hardness, and their shock resistance in particular is much higher than those of glass and CR-39 lenses.

  • Mirrored films resistant to peeling

    Peeling is a common issue in standard vapor-deposition mirror coating, the final stage of the lens process. However, our mirror technology eliminates this worry by sealing the mirror layer inside the lens. Furthermore, since this technology involves use of a uniform mirror layer formed in advance, it eliminates the issues of color spotting and differences in coloration in the field of view.
    In addition, since the lenses of safety glasses and snow goggles have a petroid coating on the outermost layer, they result in mirror lenses with strong scratch resistance.

Water and dirt resistance

  • Ultra-water-repellent coatings to repel both water and dirt

    These special surface coatings were developed to demonstrate high water repellency to eliminate adherence of water droplets and snow while running or skiing. Since the ability to repel water and snow also repels dirt, they are resistant to dust and fingerprints as well. In addition, any dirt on the lens can be wiped away easily.