Oakley just announced their new Prizm lens technology – a project that required about 15 years for engineers to complete. And I can tell you from my experience, the lens is mind-blowing. According to Oakley, the Prizm lenses are sport-tuned for maximum contrast and purpose built for the snow environment to dramatically enhance visibility and contrast. The lenses were engineered to help you perform over a wider range of lighting conditions, reducing the need to switch lenses as lighting conditions change.
I tested these lenses a couple months ago while skiing in Argentina and I really couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I had no idea how much room for improvement there was in goggle optics until I tried these immensely more advanced lenses. Yes, I’m an Oakley Ambassador, and yes, I know more about their products than other brands. But this isn’t just a new surface-level marketing gimmick. It’s a completely new scientific approach and design that has never been done before. That says a lot. I knew a lot about goggle functionality and the basics about lenses, but on this trip I asked one of the engineers to sit down and explain the details of lens building and how light transmission works. Decades of color science research for Prizm lead to a new-found control of light transmission, which creates colors precisely tuned to enhance visibility.
The path toward Prizm started with trying to gain a theoretical understanding of how the eye works. Using a hyperspectral camera to analyze different environments, the engineers collected data and created the materials that copied what they saw on the lens. They used dies that had narrow absorption peaks and matched the transmission peaks of what they saw in nature in order to create a lens that performed better in a greater range of natural environments.
You can see in the image comparison below what Prizm looks like compared to a standard lens. I was actually standing in this exact spot and testing the lenses at Cerro Catedral when this photo was taken. I can honestly tell you that this comparison is completely realistic. I whole-heartedly confirm that with Prizm, you will never see the snow the same way again.
There are three different lens options for the Prizm, covering different lighting conditions. The Black Iridium is for super sunny days, the Jade Iridium is for more variable weather, and Rose is for your overcast days. These different lens options work the same way they would for any other goggle, however, they will work better through a greater range of light conditions so that you don’t need to change them as much (or suffer the compromised vision if you don’t change). In conclusion, Jade Iridium will get you through pretty much everything except a storm day. That is what I will be wearing most days on the mountain. Be sure to check out the video below and learn more!