The king of sports performance sunglasses, Oakley, has implemented a new technology in their lenses that they believe can give athletes an edge.
Oakley Prizm is about more than just dimming sunlight like that pair of cheap sunglasses you bought at the mall.
“Prizm is a revolutionary lens technology from Oakley that dramatically enhances detail to improve performance,” is Oakley’s promise to consumers. “It provides ultra-precise colour tuning, designed for specific environments.”
Full disclosure: Oakley sent me to Whistler for a three-day lab to test out Prizm lenses. Further disclosure: it was a lot of fun. Even more disclosure: the lens technology was everything it promised.
I was a part of a group of about 15 media types of varying athletic prowess who were put through the paces in four activities: golf, mountain biking, trail running, and fly fishing. We were matched up with a different lens for each activity.
What caught my eye (see what I did there?) was how the lenses changed what I was looking at.
The golf lens made different shades of green pop, allowing you to differentiate between different parts of the course. Providing more contrast was the overriding theme for mountain biking and trail running as well. Avoiding hazards on mountain trails is of vital importance, and having a lens that helps with that can make a difference.
The lens used for fly fishing was polarized, which meant that the glare from the water was greatly reduced, allowing one to see in the water at greater depths.
Of course, my woefully inadequate abilities in all of these different sports meant that no sunglasses on earth would improve my talents. I could see the rough from the fairway more clearly, but that didn’t stop me from slicing the ball into the trees.
A better gauge of this comes from Olympic athletes, who were using Prizm.
Oakley had a hand in two medals won by Canada at the Rio Olympics. Patricia Obee and Lindsay Jennerich are Oakley athletes who won a silver medal for Canada in women’s double sculls rowing. Canada’s Catharine Pendrel wore the Green Fade Prizm lens in competition in women’s cross-country mountain biking, taking home a bronze.
In total, Oakley athletes from various countries won 101 medals in Rio.
For more information on Prizm, check out their website.