Lens pioneer turns eye to computer wizardry
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
NZ Herald, 15th February 1997
Diversification into developing a range of high-technology computer products by contact lens manufacturer Hirstlens (NZ) is creating opportunities for the establishment of a variety of small businesses.
Since its establishment in 1942, Hirstlens has been at the forefront of innovation in lens. It was responsible for the research which led to the development of the bifocal contact lens.
In 1994, Hirstlens established .a subsidiary called Beyond Imagination, which has become a centre for the development of high-technology computer products.
The flagship product of Beyond Imagination is Photocraft, a personal computer-based system that is able to restore damaged or faded photographs. It has become the basis of many successful small businesses in New Zealand, Australia and England.
Now, Beyond Imagination is seeking to interest people in establishing businesses using its other products, including instant translation of documents into languages, including Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, French and German.
It has also developed computer programs that can write, record and play back music with orchestration and prepare a manuscript from notes played on an instrument.
Recently, the company put a whole rugby league game on to a computer disc, a technique to enable coaches to study games and manipulate the action to show players their mistakes or successes and what might have happened if they played differently.
A joint managing director, Ian Handricks, said Beyond Imagination was not interested in moving boxes. "Too many do that now. I’m interested in what comes out of the box."
Mr Handricks said Beyond Imagination could provide people wanting to start business based on the technology with a complete turnkey package, including training, hardware and a business plan, to take to the bank manager.