Company Teams With Telesensory to Aid Visually Impaired
BOTHELL, Wash., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ — Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq: MVIS),
the leader in retinal scanning display (RSD) technology, announced that it has
received a purchase agreement for Nomad wearable displays from Telesensory
(http://www.telesensory.com), a leader in providing product solutions to assist people with low vision. Telesensory will use the Nomads as a low vision device intended to improve the ability of people with low vision to read printed
Telesensory has agreed to an initial purchase of ten Nomad systems, and
will immediately begin evaluations for a 90-day period with Microvision’s
current prototype display at selected private and public low vision clinics.
Telesensory has indicated that they believe the market potential for
Microvision’s low vision aid could reach thousands of units per year
worldwide. The order represents Microvision’s first order for production units
scheduled for release in mid-2001.
Nomad — Microvision’s first commercial product — integrates
Microvision’s patented retinal scanning display (RSD) technology into head
worn devices, and allows an individual to view images without the need for a
cumbersome screen. The technology scans a low-power beam of light to “paint”
rows of pixels onto the eye, creating a high resolution, see-through,
full-motion image without the use of electronic screens of any kind. To the
viewer, the image appears to be floating directly in front of them at about an
arm’s length away, as if on a large computer or television monitor.
Telesensory’s initial focus is on those people afflicted with age related
macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of new blindness in the
USA with estimates ranging as high as 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
The system could also prove useful as a reading system for people with
glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
“Many people with macular degeneration are not completely blind, but have
a great deal of difficulty reading or watching television,” stated Edward M.
Long, Telesensory’s president and CEO. “The special characteristics of Nomad
make it ideal for the partially sighted. These include: fully directed
scanned light to create the brightest images of any display technology, high
contrast range, no need for a large physical screen, creating a wearable low
vision aid that allows the user access to virtually any printed material.”
In the United States an estimated 15 million people suffer from visual
impairment, with an estimated 2 million new cases per year. The population in
other developed countries with visual impairment exceeds the number in the US.
The prevalence of this condition is expected to grow as the population
over age 65 expands over the next several decades. One in eight Americans
between the ages of 55 and 64 will be afflicted with visual impairment. The
prevalence of impairment rises to one in six Americans between the ages of
64 and 74, and one in three over the age of 75.
“The Nomad personal display has been designed to function as a personal
head-up display for aviation, medical and industrial professionals, and now as
an aid to individuals with low vision,” stated Rick Rutkowski, Microvision
President and CEO. “It is gratifying to work with Telesensory in targeting a
market opportunity that promises to improve the lives of so many people while
offering meaningful growth potential for Microvision. This first sale — in
advance of actual production — to Telesensory is consistent with our strategy
for initial rollout of Nomad into a number of vertical market segments within
the commercial/industrial and medical markets, and we look forward to more
such developments. We are enthusiastic about the breadth of application for
the Nomad display, and we continue to receive very positive feedback from
ongoing customer trials of the Nomad beta system.”
Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Microvision, Inc. is the developer of the
patented retinal scanning display technology and a world leader in micro
miniature optical scanning technology for display and imaging applications.
The company’s technology has application in a broad range of military,
medical, industrial, professional and consumer information products.
Additional information can be found at the company’s web site at http://www.mvis.com.
Telesensory is the leading worldwide developer, manufacturer, and marketer
of electronic and computer-based products to assist people with low vision.
For over three decades, Telesensory has been helping visually impaired and
blind people achieve greater independence through innovative, technology-based
products. Telesensory’s corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, California
includes the company’s product development, sales, manufacturing, and
marketing departments. Telesensory products are available in 50 countries
worldwide, with sales offices in London and Paris. In the United States,
products are sold by more than 300 distributors, dealers, and resellers who
provide personalized customer support throughout the country, including sales
offices in New York City, Detroit, Tampa, and Phoenix. Telesensory may be
reached at 800-804-8004. Additional information can be found at the company’s
web site at http://www.telesensory.com.
Forward Looking Statement
The information set forth in this release includes “forward-looking
statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those
sections. Certain factors that realistically could cause results to differ
materially from those projected in the company’s forward-looking statements
are set forth in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly
Reports on Form 10-Q, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.