DRUMMONDVILLE, QC, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - HumanWare announces a
major strategic partnership with Essilor, the world's leading
ophthalmic optics company, which becomes the majority shareholder of
the company specializing in assistive technologies for people who are
blind or have low vision.
This new alliance offers greater global visibility for HumanWare
products while promoting access for a larger number of people with
visual impairments. The alliance will also accelerate investment in
research and development to offer new and innovative high quality
products for both blindness and low vision.
For HumanWare, this partnership represents an opportunity to confirm its
leadership in assistive technologies for the visually impaired. Along
with the recent introduction of the new range of ProdigiTM digital magnifiers, HumanWare will significantly increase its market
share in the rehabilitation sector and among eyecare professionals.
"We are very pleased to be partnering with Essilor, whose knowledge in
optics and access to optician distribution networks will accelerate
innovation to help people with visual impairments. Together, we will
contribute to developing the notoriously under-penetrated global
market," says Gilles Pepin, CEO of HumanWare.
The new partnership has already enjoyed its first success with the
awarding of the prestigious Silmo d'Or to HumanWare for its new 2-in-1
Prodigi electronic magnifier, which features an installation wizard
developed with the collaboration of Essilor. Prodigi is an entirely
digital personal vision assistant for people living with visual
impairment caused by macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy,
glaucoma, and other eye diseases.
Commenting on the partnership, Hubert Sagnières, Essilor Chairman and
CEO, explains, "Helping visually impaired or blind people regain
greater independence is a natural extension of the group's mission to
help more than 4.2 billion people see better to live better. This
partnership with HumanWare allows Essilor to take a fundamental step in
the development of a range of effective and accessible vision tools for
the greatest number of people."
HumanWare (www.humanware.com), who is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is the global leader in assistive technologies for people
who are blind or have low vision. HumanWare offers a wide range of
innovative products, including the BrailleNote® Apex, the leading
productivity device for the blind in education, business and for
personal use; Victor Reader®, the world's leading family of digital
audiobook players; the unique ProdigiTM family of desktop and portable vision and reading systems, and Trekker®
Breeze, the all-in-one handheld talking GPS.
The world's leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs,
manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect
eyesight. Its corporate mission is to enable everyone around the world
to access lenses that meet his or her unique vision requirements. To
support this mission, the Company allocates around €150 million to
research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously
bring new, more effective products to market. It also develops and
markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.
Essilor reported consolidated revenue of approximately €5 billion in
2012 and employs around 50,700 people. It operates in some 100
countries, with 22 plants, more than 400 prescription laboratories and
edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers
around the world.
For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.
The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in the EuroStoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.
Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg:
For further information:
Nicolas Lagacé, Marketing Communications