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Robots to Replace Humans?

Media Release
21 February, 2013

Robots to Replace Humans?
The OPSM Future Vision Survey shows Kiwis would like to see robots as part of our future

Kiwis would welcome robots into their homes if they were capable of emotion and 30% would also like to see robots replace humans if it will put an end to human error.

So is this beginning of a Terminator-style future?

Not according to the OPSM Future Vision Survey, commissioned to launch Accufit – the latest service technology to find the perfect frames, exclusive to OPSM - which found that, despite an affection for robots, Kiwis are realistic about the innovations they want to see in the future, opting for glasses that increase vision or allow you to see in the dark over things like digital wallets, 3D printers, invisibility cloaks or x-ray glasses to see through walls.

OPSM has been looking after the eyes of Australasians for over 80 years and to mark the Accufit launch OPSM found out what Kiwi’s value and hope for in the next 80 years.

"New Zealanders are known for being pragmatic and it is interesting to see New Zealanders prefer future products which are based on realistic needs over fantasy or whimsy, opting for glasses to enhance eyesight over things like invisibility cloaks, everlasting lollies and GPS shoes," says Professor Paul Spoonley, Research Director at Massey University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

"The OPSM Future Vision Survey also highlights a keen awareness Kiwis have about the importance of their health, with bionic eyes, artificial hearts and easier organ donation high on the list of technological changes they want to see in the health arena – hologram doctors and human cloning are among the lowest ranked options."

Kiwis rate better healthcare as the most highly prized advancement that technology will bring us, with 93% agreeing technological advancements in healthcare in the past have improved the accuracy of diagnoses.

Automatically tailored shopping experiences and identity-aware automated customer service systems ranked ahead of emotionally aware machines and childcare robots for technological improvements in customer service. And, in the world of entertainment where absolutely anything is possible, New Zealanders envisage full-sensory internet as the change in technology they would most like to experience, with virtual-reality windows and downloadable dreams following close behind.

While 94% of us are all for technology, there is the concern that it shouldn’t come at the cost of human interaction. When considering the future, Kiwis revealed fears that traditional values such as good old-fashioned customer service will fade over time, and want to ensure a sense of community and friendliness remains.

According to Matthew Whiting, National Eyecare Manager for OPSM New Zealand, customer service is a key aspect of the new Accufit technology being launched around the country today, connecting with Kiwi’s desire for tailored shopping experiences.

“Accufit is the first of its kind in Australasia and enables us to improve and customise every aspect of service for individual customers. The exclusive service technology ensures accuracy when determining prescription placement on the lens within your frames. Many people do not know that if you wear ill-fitting glasses; your eyes may feel sore and tired. Poorly placed lenses can also cause headaches and make you feel nauseous. Accufit also offers a lens simulator and virtual mirror which gives customers the ability to see themselves in four different glasses at the same time, as well as the difference in the types of lenses available.”

The complimentary service is being offered at OPSM stores nationwide. For more information on Accufit visit www.opsm.co.nz/accufit or head to your local OPSM store.

Click here to view: OPSM_Infographic_FINAL.pdf

OPSM Future Vision Survey findings
• 32% of New Zealanders would be willing to welcome robots into their family
• With all the technological changes in health likely to occur during the next 80 years, what Kiwis would most like to see is bionic eyes – so they never go blind or lose clarity. Those who currently wear prescription lens glasses are more likely to rank this first (21%) compared with those who do not wear glasses (13%)
• The product that Kiwis would most like to come out in the next 80 years are glasses that increase vision or allow you to see in the dark. Those who wear prescription lens glasses are more likely to rank this first (41%) compared with those who do not wear glasses (27%)
• Of the technological changes New Zealanders have seen during the last 20 years, the one they have welcomed most positively is the internet (94%), followed by email (91%), internet banking (87%) and portable communications (82%)
• The change in entertainment Kiwis would most like to see in the next 80 years is full sensory internet, with those aged 50+ more likely to rank this as number one change (43%)
• 70% of Kiwis would rather see digital wallets than invisibility cloaks and 64% would like to see non-melting ice more than everlasting lollies
• In the next 80 years in customer service, the technological change Kiwis would most like to see is shopping or retail experiences automatically tailored to their preferences
• 93% agree that technological advancements in healthcare in the past have improved the accuracy of diagnoses
• Kiwis place a high importance on their eyesight, with 94% agreeing that seeing the world through the eyes they were born with will always be important, and nine out of 10 concurring that looking after the health of their eyes is essential so they can see in the future
• The two most important things Kiwis value is their family (1st) and their health (2nd). Those aged 50+ are more likely to value their health the most
• 87% of Kiwis value health above career, and more than financial security at 79%
• When thinking about what the world will look like in 80 years’ time, 25% of New Zealanders are optimistic, 28% are pessimistic and 47% are undecided. For those who are optimistic, the main reason for their positive outlook for 2093 is better healthcare (74%)

About the OPSM Future Vision Survey
The survey was conducted among 1,005 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over. The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission based panel from throughout New Zealand, including both capital and non-capital city areas. Fieldwork was finalised on Friday 1 February, 2013. At completion the data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from Statistics New Zealand.

About OPSM
OPSM is a leading eye care and eyewear retailer and has been looking after the eyes of Australians for 80 years. Part of Luxottica Group, a global eyewear company with over 7,000 retail stores and presence across 130 countries, OPSM has close to 400 stores in Australia and New Zealand and helps more than one million Australians see more clearly each year.

Through its Optometrists, world class technology and exceptional service, OPSM’s goal is to raise the standard of eye health and eye care. In addition to its eye care services, OPSM is renowned for its unrivalled and exclusive range of optical frames and sunglasses from international brands to suit all budgets.

About Luxottica Asia Pacific
Across Asia Pacific, Luxottica has more than 1,000 retail stores under the brands OPSM, Sunglass Hut, Laubman & Pank, Budget Eyewear, Bright Eyes and Just Specs. The company employs close to 5,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. Additional information is available at www.luxottica.com.au


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