Deltabalance goes public with Global TV Edmonton interview:
June 2, 2009:

Global TV Edmonton interviewed Gordon Lamont, founder and President of Deltabalance.

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Deltabalance featured in Business Edge article - Published April 20, 2007:

Gordon Lamont just couldn’t stand it anymore.

Faced with a future plagued by chronic pain, the Alberta entrepreneur unwittingly discovered his newest venture – creating a product that would reduce the stress and strain placed on the body during long periods of standing.

Due to a weak back, Lamont found it painful to sit and too hard to stand. Conventional medical therapies and treatments failed to solve his problem, which he traces back to a diving accident in his early teens.

The light-bulb moment, however, came when Lamont realized that standing on a sloped surface helped to ease his pain. Now after years of development and tinkering, his eQuilibrium prototype, known as the eQ2, is almost ready to go to market.

The eQ2 consists of a sloped fibreglass platform and an upholstered leather seat rest. Its target market is employees who are on their feet all day long, such as lab workers, machinists, bank tellers and servers standing behind counters.

"It's designed for people who shouldn’t be standing but need to (be) on their feet," says Lamont, whose Deltabalance company is based in Lloydminster. "It's for anyone suffering from, or at risk of, back pain."

Lamont is expecting to have a marketable product available later this year. "We need to optimize the seat design, but we're getting to the point where we will be able to launch this," says Lamont. "I'm checking out distribution possibilities. I'm doing the homework right now. I don’t have any agreements with a manufacturer yet, but we have one in Edmonton who is very interested."

Lamont has a background in the construction industry and enjoys developing businesses and then selling them. But he says this particular opportunity is different. Aside from investing more than $500,000 of his own money into the project, Lamont says the comfort stand has changed his life. "I was always athletic. I became a runner, but I had to slow down as I got older as I always had back injuries," he says. "Only as I got older did I realize the shoulder injury (from the diving accident) was restricting me. But I just carried on. I figured this is just the way life is."

By his late 30s, Lamont was beginning to take on the appearance of a little old man who would crouch and be bent over. "The pain was almost unbearable. Most of the time it changed my personality as I was living in fear of pain," says Lamont, who at that point had limited mobility. But one day he tried walking backward in order to go uphill. "The reason I was walking backwards was because I could not walk forward. It was too much of a strain. I slowly walked backwards, which relieved the strain on my back and this allowed me to keep my lower body strong." He would ultimately include other therapeutic work as part of his recovery, but knew that he was on to something. "I realized if I could do this in the office, I wouldn’t have to worry about standing without support. If I could use a slope, I wouldn’t have to stand for long periods of time or have to sit," says Lamont.

A flat platform put a strain on his knees, he notes, while a slope allowed him to properly align his feet and knees.

Edmonton chiropractor Kevin Maloney, who deals with work-related and soft-tissue injuries, says he has become a fan of the eQ2. "He (Lamont) had a lot of what I'd say weren’t mainstream ideas. He had taught himself anatomy, ergonomics – all these different fields related to injury prevention," says Maloney, clinic director of the Maloney Chiropractic and Massage Centre. "He had a fresh approach. That's really what interested me." Maloney provided Lamont with some input and eventually tried the unit on some of his patients. "I would say it was of benefit to the majority. It helped more people than it didn't, and it helped them to varying degrees. For some, it helped them quite significantly, for others it was more minimal but they still enjoyed some benefits," says Maloney. "It's getting pretty close to where I'm quite convinced that this is something that will have a very good future."

That future has a chance to become brighter with assistance from the office of industrial research at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). The office focuses on research and innovation, and includes a business incubator with a prototype development program. Using this program, Lamont was able to transform his initial prototype into a fully-functional model.

"In Gordon’s case, he had an alpha prototype – his first version," says David Burry, co-ordinator of the prototype development program. "He had a product that needed to be moved to the next level. What he required was an integrated undercarriage system to move it around easily. We also developed the mechanism on the seat rest."

Drawing on more than 200 educational programs at NAIT, the prototype venture is designed to fill a gap in the innovation spectrum: Getting a concept to the commercialization stage. Costs for the work are shared 50-50, with the prototype owner covering half while the remaining portion is covered through a grant from Alberta Advanced Education and Technology. Once a prototype is completed, the entrepreneur generally moves on to the next phase in the business plan, says Burry. However, some do come back for a second round of assistance. "We’re working on another project with Gordon. We’re looking at the optimal design for the seat," says Burry. "We finished the (initial) prototype and he was going to take that to manufacture, but then he thought the seat wasn’t totally optimized. Gordon was able to figure out what was missing once the prototype was developed." Lamont is also looking at the possibility of a slightly modified version of the eQ2, this one a bit smaller, meaning it could be used by cashiers in smaller spaces such as checkout aisles.