Laser light source wins OSA optics award

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The winners of the Optical Society’s (OSA) Enabled by Optics contest, an award which seeks to promote how optics and photonics technologies can positively impact society, have been announced.

Addressing the topic of 'What’s optics got to do with it?', the contest required companies to submit a white paper highlighting how their optics-driven technology affects everyday life. Student entrants had to create a video to demonstrate how optics is a crucial component within a commonly used product.

The winning company white paper was for a laser technology that is improving the interactive experience for gamers, which could also prove useful in other industries including retail, security, manufacturing, biomedicine, smart homes, transportation, and more.

The laser light source developed by communications equipment company, JDSU is being integrated into 3D sensing technologies, enabling the user to have a natural interface with devices through gestures and subtle activities − such as facial expression and heart rate − to replace game controllers.

‘Interest in 3D sensing continues to grow and expand into new areas, simplifying the way people interact with technology,’ said Andre Wong, director of Product Line Management at JDSU. ‘JDSU is honoured to accept the Enabled by Optics award and supports OSA’s efforts to advance both the optics and photonics industries worldwide.’

There were joint winners for the student prize, who will each receive a cash prize of $500.

One winner was Gustavo Almeida and a team of students at the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil, for a video describing how colours are produced on electronic displays using the red, green, blue (RGB) additive method.

The other winning video explained how a DVD player or game system reads data on a disc using lasers, which was created by Ethan Bratton, a student at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas, USA.

The winners will be recognised at OSA’s Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics, in October in Arizona, USA.

‘While the technical community understands the importance of optics, much of the general public is not familiar with what’s powering their high-tech lives,’ said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. ‘The Enabled by Optics programme gives us the chance to highlight innovations while clarifying the science on which the products are based. OSA helps connect the excitement of optics and photonics to the non-scientific community through these efforts.'

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Further Information

Gustavo Almeida's video

Ethan Bratton's video