HumanWare sees its global development expand through a partnership with Essilor

   HumanWare sees its global development expand through a partnership with

PR Newswire

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC, Oct. 17, 2013

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC, Oct. 17,  2013 /PRNewswire/ -  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

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 Prodigi^TM 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."

About HumanWare
HumanWare (, who is celebrating its 25^th 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 Prodigi^TM family of desktop
and portable vision and reading systems, and Trekker® Breeze, the all-in-one
handheld talking GPS.

About Essilor
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

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

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: EI:FP.

SOURCE HumanWare


Nicolas Lagacé, Marketing Communications
(450) 463-1717
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