Top Innovators: B.E. Meyers Electro Optics

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In 1974, Brad Meyers began selling optical equipment—telescopes, for the most part—to astronomers and hobbyists. Thirty-six years later, B.E. Meyers Electro Optics is at the forefront of electro-optical technology, manufacturing laser-targeting systems, weapons-mounted and handheld lasers, and long-range, night-vision optics. So how did this Redmond-based firm grow from a one-man show into a booming, 180-employee defense and law enforcement contractor? The credit goes to Meyers and his ability to capitalize on rare opportunities.

Meyers’ first big break came when he coupled image intensifiers with telescopes, creating the first night-vision telescope device. Since then, the company has pioneered the development of long-range, infrared lasers for night-vision devices—and its most successful development to date is the Infrared Zoom Laser Illuminator Designator (IZLID, for short), a laser pointer that directs aircraft to their targets. In addition to the IZLID line, B.E. Meyers’ product suite now includes non-lethal, visual disruption (that is, temporarily blinding) lasers that are used around the world at vehicle checkpoints and naval bases. The company’s night-vision scopes are used by military units and law enforcement agencies throughout America, and Meyers’ line of surveillance is growing as well. With an eye toward the future and a laser-like focus, it’s clear that Meyers has his company headed in the right direction.

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