eSight, CNIB partnership to expand public access to smart glasses for the visually impaired


eSight, a Toronto-based vision technology company, is partnering with the CNIB Foundation (formerly the Canadian National Institute for the Blind), a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Canadians who are blind or living with vision loss.

“With greater access to eSight, many individuals will have opportunities they never before thought possible.”

The partnership will increase public access to eSight’s flagship product to those living with vision loss in Canada. eSight 3, a device that uses high-resolution screens, smart algorithms, and a cutting-edge camera to help a low vision individual see more clearly, is now available for purchase at five CNIB locations in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. The locations will also offer training from both eSight and CNIB. The program is set to be made available at more CNIB locations across Canada, over the next year.

“This partnership will make a significant difference in the lives and independence of many Canadians with sight loss,” said John M. Rafferty, president and CEO of CNIB Foundation. “With greater access to eSight, many individuals will have opportunities they never before thought possible, to see the faces of their loved ones, to return to work, to perform better in school, to rediscover hobbies and feel more confident in new environments.”

The eSight 3 provides a non-surgical, wearable solution that works by inciting synaptic activity from the remaining photoreceptor function in the user’s eyes. This can provide the brain with increased visual information to naturally offset gaps in the user’s field of view. The product was launched in early 2017, and is now listed as a Class 1 Medical Device.

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eSight was founded in 2006 and is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration, the European database on medical devices, and Health Canada. Last year, eSight launched a pledge to help 50 million people worldwide with vision loss by the year 2020. This year, eSight raised $10 million in a debenture funding round led by iGan Partners.

The company launched eSight 3 in 2017, which has since become available in more than 45 different countries. In January, the company reduced the price of the product by 40 percent, claiming production costs had fallen considerably.

“CNIB was the obvious choice as our premier national distribution partner because we share a passion to change the lives of Canadians living with visual impairments,” said Sam Ifergan, executive chairman of eSight. “We’re proud to partner with CNIB as our premier retail and training destination where Canadians can experience the amazing benefits of eSight before they purchase.”

Image courtesy eSight

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.