2024 Inductees

Tony Van Heugten

Anthony “Tony” Van Heugten

Chief Technology Officer
e-Vision Smart Optics, Inc.

57 U.S. Patents

Anthony “Tony” Van Heugten is the Chief Technology Officer of e-Vision Smart Optics, Inc., a leading electronic lens modulation company that designs and fabricates optics that control and shape light with no moving parts.

Mr. Van Heugten’s industry-disrupting innovations are in electronic liquid crystal lenses, ophthalmic diagnostic devices, eye surgery instruments, and next generation human vision correction; and include products from resistive bridges for practical electro-active contact lenses to dynamic focusing elements for augmented reality headsets to electro-optic phoropters for performing vision examinations. His research has led to the development of liquid crystal tunable lens technology for intra-ocular lenses, remote controlled contact lenses and eyewear, and virtual and augmented reality devices. Moreover, Mr. Van Heugten’s work on liquid-crystal-based lenses is being commercialized in Japan by Mitsui Chemicals as the TouchFocusTM instantaneously adjustable eyewear for near- and far-sighted vision.

Prior to joining e-Vision, Mr. Van Heugten co-founded and served as the Chief Technology Officer of WaveTec Vision Systems, Inc. where he invented a miniature wavefront sensor coupled to a surgical microscope that measured the optical power of the eye in real time during cataract eye surgery, resulting in better surgical outcomes. Wavetec was sold to Alcon Laboratories in 2014. Since then, over three million surgeries have been performed with these sensors.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Van Heugten has commercialized or licensed a number of his innovations including products for interventional cardiology (MedClose), vascular access (Johnson & Johnson), and laser-vision-correction lasers (Summit Technology). He has also led projects sponsored by NASA, the National Institutes of Health (systems to screen children for vision disorders), the US Air Force (lenses correcting higher order aberrations in the pursuit of “super vision”), and the US Army (night vision systems).

Mr. Van Heugten is also president of the non-profit Institute for Adaptive Optics in Human Vision, where he is constantly seeking new ways to improve the quality of life of people in the way that they see.