Breakthrough innovation enables the legally blind to see

MaRS client's device unique among low vision aids

TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - MaRS client and Investment Accelerator Fund portfolio company eSight Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of eSight eyewear, the first intelligent eyewear that enables people with legal blindness or low vision to see.

"eSight has enabled my daughter, Emma Rose, to actually see, something we never thought would be possible," said Jennifer-Anne Gibson. "Emma Rose has been legally blind since birth due to optic nerve hypoplasia. eSight is absolutely amazing, it has totally changed my little girl's life."

John Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB (formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind), said, "The effect this technology can have on the lives of people with vision loss is remarkable. It's an exciting device that can enable some people to recapture activities they haven't experienced in decades, like watching their kids play soccer or reading the Sunday morning newspaper."

"When I first tried on eSight, it was incredible," said Hugh Montgomery, who works in Systems & Technology at Bell Canada and who is legally blind due to Stargardt's Disease. "My vision is normally 20/200 but with eSight, it is 20/40. I can now see like a normally sighted person. I can read a newspaper, zoom in to see the time on a wall clock and, from afar, I am able to see people's expressions. eSight is unbelievable."

"eSight's technology is at the forefront of the ophthalmology field, furthering excellence in the care of patients and providing a new light to those who are visually impaired," said Sonia Sanhueza, MaRS' life sciences and healthcare Practice Lead. "We have seen eSight grow steadily and successfully since becoming involved with MaRS in 2008. MaRS has supported eSight with mentoring services through our advisory team, funding to support the company's growth and pitch coaching to help them prepare for investment opportunities."

Kevin Rankin, President and CEO of eSight Corporation said, "eSight eyewear is the only low vision technology of its kind on the market. eSight is mobile, hands-free, and can automatically process near, far and mid-range vision tasks."

eSight eyewear uses an advanced, high-resolution video camera to capture what the wearer is looking at and delivers those video images to a controller with a highly sophisticated computer. The images are processed and then projected in real-time onto two LED screens inside the eSight eyewear. In this way, eSight provides as near-normal vision as one's condition allows. eSight has been shown to help people with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, Stargardt's Disease, ocular albinism and other low vision conditions. It is best suited for visual acuity between 20/60-20/400 (legal blindness is 20/200).

About eSight Corporation
eSight Corp (@eSightCorp) is an Ottawa, Canada based technology company that develops intelligent eyewear for people challenged by degenerative eye diseases. eSight is primarily focused on eSight eyewear, assistive technology that helps people with low vision lead more independent lives at home and at work. eSight was founded by Conrad Lewis, a Canadian technology entrepreneur who was personally touched by the profound impact of Stargardt's Disease on two of his sisters. eSight is now available for demo at select low vision clinics across Canada and the United States. Contact info@esightcorp.com; 1-855-837-4448; www.esighteyewear.com.

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada's next generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised over $750 million in capital, earned over $375 million in revenue and hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge economy jobs.

About the Investment Accelerator Fund
The Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) (@MaRSIAF) provides up to $500,000 in seed funding to qualified emerging companies in Ontario. As a critical component of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the IAF supports the launch and development of innovative companies in Ontario's priority sectors of advanced materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life sciences.

About CNIB
CNIB (@CNIB) is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit cnib.ca or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.

SOURCE: MaRS Discovery District

For further information:

or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Melissa Hughes
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8100 ext. 2710 
mhughes@marsdd.com 

Julie Fotheringham
VP Marketing
eSight Corporation
613-271-9535 ext. 306
jfotheringham@esightcorp.com


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