Optelec’s roots are based in Oostvoorne, The Netherlands. It was here – in 1975 – that Mr. F.J. Tieman developed the first video magnifier for a customer who could no longer see with only glasses. This magnifier became so popular, that the first series of Tieman video magnifiers was launched.
In the mid eighties Tieman obtained the first patent on refreshable Braille cell technology, hereby establishing Tieman as the market’s major Braille cell supplier. The first generation of complete Braille displays were launched in 1988.
In the early nineties, the first international office was opened in Schwalmstadt, Germany. In 1997 Optelec USA, the leading manufacturer of video magnifiers in North America, and Optelec Canada were acquired.
In the years following offices were also opened in Belgium and the United Kingdom and an extensive dealer network was built up, ensuring a global presence and manifesting Optelec as an international company.
In May 2005 Tieman officially and globally changed its name to Optelec. At the same time, several new products were introduced. The slogan “from one button simplicity to endless possibilities” was introduced, reflecting the flexibility and ease of use of the company’s product range. In 2005 Optelec also acquired the business of the ALVA Braille displays, the main Braille competitor in The Netherlands.
In 2007 Optelec opened a new office in Barendrecht, The Netherlands, which also houses the company’s headquarters.