eSight Technology brings the gift of vision to people around the world
When Gary Foster peered through eSight electronic glasses and was able to see his daughter walking toward him with her baby girl, he could barely contain his emotions.
“My biggest joy in my life are my children and my grandchildren,” Foster says. “When I could see their faces again, it was like meeting them all for the first time. That’s pretty powerful.”
Foster’s vision loss stemmed from hereditary macular degeneration. His eyesight had deteriorated over a number of years to the point where he couldn’t see the adorable faces of his 14 grandchildren.
It was a devastating time as Foster tried to navigate the world without sight. He lost his independence, had to stay home most days and wasn’t able to continue his job at Parks Canada because he couldn’t drive.
As a very social person who served as the captain of the Lake Louise Fire Department, the first chairman of the town council and a Justice of the Peace, Foster felt adrift in a world he no longer knew. Sadly, it was a familiar feeling. He had watched his mother struggle for years when she lost her vision.
But eSight Technology, with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, changed his life. Thanks to their award-winning electronic glasses, which restore or enhance sight for individuals with vision loss, Foster can see family and friends again, and pick up old hobbies like woodworking.
Foster learned about eSight, a company founded by an electrical engineer, Conrad Lewis, who wanted to find a way for his legally blind sisters to see again, at a CNIB Foundation conference. He was stunned when he had brief chance to try on the glasses.
“I will never forget that moment,” Foster says. “I saw my wife’s face for the first time in years.”
With encouragement from his wife, Tammy, Foster scheduled an appointment for a demonstration of the glasses when they were in Toronto to visit family.
Foster and Tammy became such ardent advocates of the glasses that eSight hired both of them.
Today, Foster manages a team that coaches new eSight users so they can get the most out of the glasses.
eSight’s Chief Operating Officer, Gregory Ogorek, says eSight’s core belief is that everyone around the world deserves a chance to see. Canada’s free trade agreements underpin that mission as they help make it easier and cheaper to export eSight’s breakthrough technology around the world.
The new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership opens access to many new markets for eSight, including Japan. The company has already begun exporting its electronic glasses into that market, and other key countries in Europe, with the help of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.
In a competitive industry where being first to market with a product is so important, Canada’s trade commissioners have given eSight a competitive edge.
And eSight is only getting started. The company will continue to help the low vision community and set a bold goal to be a world leader in this technology through their research and development lab.
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