In what is believed to be a New Zealand first, Specsavers has donated $10,000 to The Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand for Auckland residents’ engagement with a ‘smart billboard’.

The digital billboard, which went live for one-and-a-half weeks in December 2018 at the Rialto Shopping Centre in Newmarket, used facial recognition technology built into its screen to detect when someone looked at it. For each glance registered by the smart billboard from a passer-by, Specsavers donated $1 to the Foundation.

In addition, further funds are being raised through a limited edition lens cloth designed by celebrated New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell that is being sold in Specsavers’ New Zealand stores. The cloth features Dick’s iconic ‘Woodgrain’ print, designed almost 30 years ago. The print has also featured across a range of mediums including homeware and ceramics, where it first appeared.

The project is aiming to raise enough money to support a Pacific-based nurse to take part in a year-long eye training course at The Foundation’s training centre in Fiji, the Pacific Eye Institute. Following the course, participants will return home with the expertise to help look after and save the sight of their community.

“I’m a huge advocate of the eye sight-saving work that The Fred Hollows Foundation is doing in the Pacific and am so glad to be able to support in collaboration with the team at Specsavers,” Dick commented. “… I hope people across the country get involved to help make a real difference in the lives of others who really need it.”

Dick Frizzell with the limited edition ‘Woodgrain’ lens cloth