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Safilo Partners with InteraXon – Brain Sensing Eyewear Enabling Mental Focus

  • First ever brain sensing eyewear platform, built in partnership with Interaxon Inc.
  • Iconic eyewear design, with style, perfect fit, and high quality comfort, from world renowned eyewear creator
  • Enabling mental focus for enhanced performance and personal well being
  • SAFILOX will be presented by Interaxon at CES 2017

Padua/Toronto, December 21, 2016 – SAFILO Group, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator, manufacturer and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, and Interaxon Inc., the world leader in consumer brain sensing technology, today announced a strategic research and development partnership and licensing agreement.

This partnership enables SAFILO’s entry into wearable technology, under the name of SAFILOX ™.

“SAFILOX is the perfect intersection of our renowned iconic eyewear design and authentic quality craftsmanship dating back to 1878, the leading brain sensing technology application, and today’s most coveted consumer search to master mental focus and strength to achieve enhanced personal performance and well-being,” said Luisa Delgado, CEO of SAFILO. “It is neither another example of technology mounted on frames, nor technology for its own sake. With SAFILOX our Group leverages its legendary Passion for Product and People for a wearable eyewear proposition of unparalleled fit and comfort, aspirational design and style, and compelling consumer relevance.”

SAFILO has chosen to partner with Interaxon Inc., a Canadian company and a world leader in sparse EEG (electroencephalography) brain sensing technology. Today, Interaxon’s Muse technology enables consumers, athletes, coaches, clinicians, and healthcare professionals to enhance their and their clients’ personal wellness by helping them improve their mental focus. Interaxon’s technology has been validated scientifically with more than a 100 brain research partnerships around the world, from institutes including the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, MIT, McMaster University, NASA, and IBM.

Scientific research partnerships involving SAFILOX are already underway, and involve leading  Canadian neuroscience researchers at institutes including the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, and furthermore a study by Michela Balconi, Professor of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Head of Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience, at the Cattolica University of Milan.

“With SAFILOX, Interaxon becomes broadly accessible via a premier lifestyle brand, iconic design and stylish accessory. We are excited to spread the positive impact of our technology through Safilo’s authentic quality and aspirational style,” said Derek Luke, CEO of Interaxon.

Interaxon and Safilo have been exploring their first eyewear developments in undisclosed work over the past 12 months. To develop this eyewear platform, the partner companies have established a team of experts devoted to the seamless integration of invisible brain sensing technology with stylish product design, development, and engineering, resulting in technology that is invisible to the user, but with a relevant functionality and aspirationally styled design.

SAFILOX will first be offered via the Group’s SMITH performance eyewear brand.

Interaxon Inc. will be presenting the partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 5-8, 2017.

About Interaxon

At Interaxon, we develop engaging experiences using brainwave-sensing technology designed to help you free yourself from physical, emotional and mental obstacles so you get more out of every moment. Our mission is to enable you to live a happier, healthier and more connected life with leading brainwave technologies and experiences. Our flagship product is the Muse headband, a sensory headband that is designed to help you meditate by providing you real-time audio and visual feedback on your meditative state through the Muse companion app. More information about Interaxon and the Muse headband is available at http://www.choosemuse.com/

About Safilo Group

Safilo Group is the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. With an extensive wholly owned global distribution network in 39 countries – in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China – Safilo is committed to quality distribution of its products all around the world. Safilo’s portfolio encompasses Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Safilo, Oxydo, Dior, Dior Homme, Fendi, Gucci, Banana Republic, Bobbi Brown, BOSS, BOSS Orange, Céline, Elie Saab, Fossil, Givenchy, havaianas, Jack Spade, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Pierre Cardin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Swatch, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (ISIN code IT0004604762, Bloomberg SFL.IM, Reuters SFLG.MI), in 2015 Safilo recorded net revenues for Euro 1,279 million.

Contacts:

Safilo Group Press Office                              

Antonella Leoni
Milan – Ph. +39 02 77807607
Padua – Ph. +39 049 69860

Safilo Group Investor Relations

Barbara Ferrante
Ph. +39 049 6985766
http://investors-en.safilogroup.com

Interaxon Inc

Burson-Marsteller
Olivia Irwin
Olivia.Irwin@bm.com
Ph. +1 415 591 2012

What a Top Executive of a $147 Million Company Used to Think About Meditation

From time to time we like to share a story from one of our inspiring Musers. Alex Charfen has been our guest writer for the past few weeks and this will be his fourth article in the series. He is an internationally recognized speaker and business consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurs alike to help them grow and scale their businesses. As a firm believer of the performance benefits of meditation he has introduced 100s of professionals to Muse. He will dive deeper into each topic, during his open, free to join, weekly Facebook Live sessions.


What a Top Executive of a $147 Million Company Used to Think About Meditation

As a consultant to every level of entrepreneur, from startups to the Fortune 500, even self-made billionaires, I’ve heard just about every reaction to the concept of meditation. It usually looks something like this:

Positive: I discovered meditation years ago and I love it … I don’t miss a day!
Neutral: I like it when I get the chance to do it … which usually isn’t all that often.
Reactionary: Don’t try to sell me on any of that “new-agey” crap … I’m not buying!

Alex Charfen

A year ago, my friend and client Justin Beadle was definitely on the reactionary end of that spectrum.

A former Marine, Justin is the president of Links Construction, a $147M commercial construction company operating out of Denton, Texas. In early 2016, he attended one of my Enlightened Leadership Academy events to clarify his vision as a business leader, and to find ways of feeling more effective and fulfilled as the leader of a high-growth business.

During that event we discussed the importance of awareness and mindfulness in becoming an Enlightened Leader, one who empowers those who follow them to reach their full potential. I even mentioned a technology I’d recently discovered that helped tremendously with my practice: the Muse™ headband.

At the first mention of meditation, I could see by Justin’s body language that he wasn’t buying it. He sat back in his chair, arms folded as though he was only staying in the room to be polite. But as the event continued and I had the chance to speak with Justin about the benefits that not only I got from meditation, but the experiences other high-powered executives had found from meditation and a focus on breathing, especially during stressful meetings. He eventually seemed open, if skeptical, to the idea, so I didn’t press him on it.

Following the event, I’d stayed in touch with Justin, watching as his business continued to grow on an aggressive trajectory. Links Construction was closing bigger deals than it had, and setting itself up for massive growth. So I was excited when Justin called and said that he and his vice president wanted to come to my Constructive Company live event.

This event was different from the previous one, focused on the systems and processes to create stable, high-growth companies that benefit all stakeholders. However, I’ve found the fastest way for entrepreneurs to build a Constructive Company is for leadership to create greater awareness. And when I brought up this topic, Justin decided to tell us all a story that he hadn’t shared before.

“Being a Marine and then the president of a commercial construction company, I never even wanted to hear about meditation, let alone try it. It wasn’t connected to who I was or what I knew. But after the Enlightened Leadership Academy event, I started to pay attention to how my energy was affecting the people around me, both at work and at home. And I realized I could control that if I were more aware and present. So, considering the benefits of meditation, I decided to make that a focus of mine and find time in my days to do it. And you know what? I really feel it’s had a positive effect on me as a leader and how I handle situations.”

“It’s true,” his vice president added. “Sometimes he’ll just close his office door for a few minutes, and we all know he’s taking some time for himself. I’ve definitely seen the difference in him. He’s a lot more even and calm, and deliberate when we’re all in meetings together.”

For reference, this was after only a few months of Justin implementing meditation into his daily routine.

In my experience, this kind of transformation is exceptional but not unique when leaders focus on the tactics of being present and aware. The funny thing is, these leaders – especially those at the highest levels – can be the most resistant to change and adopting meditation, but when they do start to meditate, they show the greatest amount of contrast.

Join me for another special Facebook Live broadcast, where I’ll share more stories and describe how Tactical Meditation can benefit you and your business by increasing your awareness.

– Alex Charfen

REGISTER
Register for the Facebook Live session here
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016
Time: 2 p.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT)

Meditation for the Most Important Meetings of Your Life

From time to time we like to share a story from one of our inspiring Musers. Alex Charfen will be our guest writer for the next few weeks and this will be his second article in the series. He is an internationally recognized speaker and business consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurs alike to help them grow and scale their businesses. As a firm believer of the performance benefits of meditation he has introduced 100s of professionals to Muse. He will dive deeper into each topic, during his open, free to join, weekly Facebook Live sessions.


Stress is unavoidable in life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive about it.

In speaking with hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs, I’ve found that one thing in particular tends to cause a lot of stress this time of year, and it’s not family or travel or social events. Actually, it’s business meetings.

Not that those other items can’t take their toll. Travel can be especially stressful, and recent surveys say 45% of Americans report they or someone they traveled with needed to see a medical professional while traveling. Especially when traveling for business, this can have disastrous effects on your ability to perform at your best (or at all).

This can be mitigated with planning and meditation. When talking with my team, clients or other business leaders who are traveling for work or with family, I often recommend amplifying meditation in the weeks leading up to the event. This activity of meditation and focusing on your breathing actually helps to boost your immune system, and lower any anxiety around the trip. Personally, I’ve found that meditating with the Muse headband while on the plane (yes, I’m that guy) actually improves my calm and lowers any reactivity I’m feeling.

But when it comes to business meetings, the end and beginning of each year bring all new levels of stress. Annual planning, year-end reporting, budget meetings and proposals all end up bundled together in a sprint of activity, deadlines and deliverables.

If you’ve ever had to lead or present at one of these meetings, you’re familiar with the rush of adrenaline, the butterflies in your stomach and maybe even the cold sweats produced as a reaction to your anxiety. The adrenaline certainly helps us focus on one or two things (what’s most concerning us at the moment), however this also limits our ability to perform at optimal levels.

But I’ve been in these meetings with CEOs, boards of directors and self-made billionaires, and the leaders who make the most out of these meetings do so through presence and awareness. They’re not focused on one or two items, but seem to understand everything that’s going on, what’s being said and not being said. They’re constructive leaders. They’re magnetic and transformational. They control the room. And they … breathe.

They do this because most of them learned a long time ago that their levels of stress affect everyone else in the room. If they’re wound up, everyone else will be too. And if this happens, no one in the room will perform to the best of their abilities.

Brooks and Charfen

I became very aware of this fact during a recent call with Brooks Hollan, founder of a marketing, consulting, and video production company in San Diego.

A few weeks ago we spoke for about 90 minutes, transparently discussing ways for him to get unstuck, create momentum and stop feeling so overwhelmed. I remember concentrating on staying present and aware, breathing as Brooks talked through some difficult challenges he was facing, and trying not to be reactive, which wasn’t easy.

By the end of our call, Brooks told me how much better he felt, how much clearer he saw things, and how the pressure and noise he experienced was lower. I was ecstatic. This is my goal for every interaction. But then, just a few minutes after we hung up, Brooks sent me a text (see image).

Brooks’ Muse meditation session results

The day before our call, Brooks had completed a meditation session with the Muse headband when he felt unprotected, overwhelmed and stressed. At that point, he could only reach 16% calm. Then, right after our call, he completed another session to see the contrast. As you can see, his results were dramatic, jumping up to 81% calm.

This is direct evidence of the kind of effect leaders can have on the people they interact with.

Join me at my next Facebook Live session with Muse, where I’ll share more detail about the strong connection between meditation, awareness, breathing and leadership, and the tactics that can help you perform at your best. I’ll also recall some compelling stories of how top executives – some of the most accomplished people I’ve ever worked with – would prepare for the biggest meetings of their lives.

Register for the Facebook Live session
Date: Thursday, December 15, 2016
Time: 2 p.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT)

Definitely bring your questions as I’ll be taking them live. I can’t wait to see you there.

– Alex Charfen
charfen.com

Ditch your Negative Adrenaline Loops and make 2017 your best year yet

From time to time we like to share a story from one of our inspiring Musers. Alex Charfen will be our guest writer for the next few weeks and this will be his second article in the series. He is an internationally recognized speaker and business consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurs alike to help them grow and scale their businesses. As a firm believer of the performance benefits of meditation he has introduced 100s of professionals to Muse. He will dive deeper into each topic, during his open, free to join, weekly Facebook Live sessions.


 

Ditch your Negative Adrenaline Loops and make 2017 your best year yet

I’ve spent my career helping self-made billionaires, Fortune 500 executives, small-business owners and every level of entrepreneur get the most out of their businesses and lives. Working with them, I’ve learned that the fourth quarter of the year is a time to be especially vigilant, focused and present. But that’s not always easy.

Alex Charfen

The fourth quarter is a time when it’s generally accepted for people to get overwhelmed, increase anxiety and lose awareness of their health and environment. Holidays, travel, family drama, packed social calendars and drastically different (sometimes harmful) diets all increase the amount of pressure in our lives and the noise we have to deal with. These all cause stress, which can be harmful to our health and affect our overall performance.

Some studies have shown that stress can also be beneficial. It’s a natural, evolutionary physiological response to our environment, to danger or urgency, and it can temporarily increase your focus and awareness.

Unfortunately, this temporary boost in cognition is short-lived, with awareness only focused on what’s causing stress in the moment. When this happens over a long period of time, we can actually become dependant on our stressors to generate positive momentum, or the feeling of moving forward in a positive direction. We can unknowingly enter into what I call “Negative Adrenaline Loops,” where we seek out stress to stimulate the production of adrenaline and feelings of productivity. As time goes on we will need more confrontations, more situations that trigger an adrenal response, and purposefully cause stress in our lives to feel like we are moving forward.

One of the greatest examples of this – and how you can avoid Negative Adrenaline Loops – is my friend Ryan Stewman, the Hardcore Closer. A twice-convicted felon turned hyper-successful sales trainer and CEO, Ryan’s the last person you’d accuse of meditating. He’s brash, outspoken and lets people know exactly how it is … often in very colorful language.

Shortly after meeting Ryan, I learned he was caught in a cycle of aggressive behavior. He’d wake up in the morning, check Facebook to find something that frustrated him, and then pick a fight for a boost of adrenaline to drive him through the day. He admitted that when things were going slow, he’d go looking for conflict because it helped him feel like he was in momentum.

This Negative Adrenaline Loop was limiting his business growth and ability to build a team, but also affecting his relationships with his fiancée, children and his ex-wife. So we started working together to understand his behavior, consciously make decisions about how to avoid conflict, and change some of his habits to increase awareness throughout the day.

Alex and Ryan

The transformation has been remarkable. His team has grown and so has his company. His relationship with his fiancée and even his ex-wife have both improved. His following has become even more passionate and nearly doubled in size. But just recently I saw a Facebook post that I never could have predicted. Not only is Ryan meditating and using the Muse headband to increase his awareness headed into 2017, but he posted a picture of his two sons meditating with the Muse too. In the post he wrote about his thoughts of “being a good parent and doing what’s right. Instead of Adderall to calm my boys, I’m teaching them about meditation and focus.”

Ryan is not merely looking to improve himself and his business through greater awareness, but he’s giving his children an entirely new opportunity to develop that same awareness and an understanding of how to emotionally self-regulate.

Throughout my career as a consultant and coach, I’ve become 100% convinced that being aware and learning to breathe are the greatest advantages you can have to perform at the highest levels … and meditation is key to achieving both.

So join me at 2 p.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT) on Friday, December 9, 2016, for a Facebook Live session to learn more about the strong connection between awareness, meditation and reaching higher levels of performance. I’ll even host a global group meditation, so we can all connect to increase our awareness in the fourth quarter and set ourselves up for an incredible 2017.

Sign up for the free, open to the public, Facebook Live session here.

 

– Alex Charfen

http://www.charfen.com/

When the conflicting worlds of meditation and technology collide … twice

From time to time we like to share a story from one of our inspiring Musers. Alex Charfen is today’s guest writer. He is an internationally recognized speaker and business consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and entrepreneurs alike to help them grow and scale their businesses. As a firm believer of the performance benefits of meditation he has introduced 100s of professionals to Muse. This will be the start of a month long Meditation Challenge. Alex will be a guest writer, here on our blog each week, sharing his wisdom on various topics and then diving deeper into each topic, during his weekly Facebook Live sessions.

***

My obsession with meditation began with a monk stopping his heart.

In my early teens I went on a spiritual journey trying to find my place in the universe, and it’s a journey I’m still on today. I was restless and confused and I wanted clarity. I talked to my friends and their parents, visited Christian churches of all denominations, attended an amazing Mormon church for a few years, visited synagogues and talked to rabbis, and read every religious text I could find, but a trip to a Buddhist temple impacted me like nothing had before.

The temple was holding a meditation seminar, headlined by an apparently famous Buddhist monk. I’d never heard of him, but when he took off the top of his robe and allowed people to stick the beige pads of a heart monitor to his chest and back, he had my full attention. I watched, mesmerized, as he meditated. The room was silent except for the sounds of his breathing and the soft blips of the monitor signalling the beats of his heart. And they were getting slower.

As the minutes passed I found myself holding my own breath, only breathing when I heard another blip, and each were getting farther and farther apart. But then, something truly remarkable happened…

The monk’s heart stopped beating.

He flatlined.

At least that’s what it appeared like. I later learned that heart monitors in the 1980s would flatline when heartbeats slowed below a certain rhythm, and often delay coming out of a flatline even when a new, subtle heartbeat occurred. But the effect was astounding.

Alex Charfen loving Muse.

For most of my life up to that point I’d felt reactive, like my world was outside of my control. Seeing a human being possess the presence and self-control to slow his heart rate to the point of being undetectable by the heart monitor redefined what I thought was possible.

I wanted, and still work toward, the body awareness that the monk had. From that moment on, seeing the real-time biofeedback of meditation, I was hooked. I also thought the goal of meditation was to stop my heart from beating, so my expectations may have been a bit unrealistic. Undeterred for more than 25 years, I sought out and consumed hundreds of books on meditation and awareness, mindfulness seminars and retreats, audiobooks and soundscapes. I practiced yoga regularly, even completing a year where I did it every day.

I even got the chance to experience a laboratory demonstration of cognitive biofeedback, where complex equipment and sensors monitored my body’s signals as I stared at a screen and tried to “move a ball with my mind” (I know how that sounds, but it was intense). The feedback was eye-opening; not that I was good or bad, but that I actually had measurements for my varying levels of awareness.

I was sold. I wanted one in my house. The only problem? Those monitors cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop and purchase. (Of course I asked.)

It wasn’t until June 2016 – about 15 years after that trade show demonstration – that I discovered the Muse mediation headband, and I was floored. For the first time I was eyes-closed, meditating with audible biofeedback…

Just like the monk.

The feedback during just my first Muse session gave me perspective on meditation and awareness that I hadn’t been able to create in more than 25 years. Today, 110 days after my first Muse session, I feel my entire meditation practice has clarified and I’ve gained a new level of awareness in my life. I’m able to better self-regulate emotionally and be less triggered in situations where I would normally become reactive. More and more I’m able to consciously pull myself back into greater levels of awareness and out of that reactivity.

The Muse headset has been transformational for me, and I would like to share it with you.

Out of gratitude for this experience, I wanted to recreate history.

Alex Charfen Musing during a flight.

Join me for a Facebook Live session at 2 p.m. EST (8 p.m. GMT) on Thursday, December 1, 2016, where I will introduce, explain and then conduct a live three-minute meditation in front of the world. During this time, I’ll also hook myself up to additional biofeedback devices, and you’ll hear how my body is responding to deeper or shallower periods of awareness. We will then show you my Muse results in real time so we can share in the experience together. To learn more about Alex Charfen please visit: charfen.com