Open Photonics seeks optical concepts for Tricorder competition

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Technology acceleration firm Open Photonics is to match photonics researchers with teams competing in the Xprize Foundation’s $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder competition.

The non-profit Xprize Foundation runs competitions offering cash prizes to those that can demonstrate technological breakthroughs. Its Tricorder competition, named after the Star Trek mobile sensing technology and sponsored by IT technology firm Qualcomm’s philanthropic Foundation, aims to bring about a portable, wireless device that monitors and diagnoses the subject’s health by 2015. The device is expected to use wireless sensors and imaging to capture blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature. The device should also be able to diagnose a set of 15 diseases. Open Photonics will serve as an official resource for competing teams, offering access  to photonic researchers’ concepts for optical technologies for mobile devices.

‘It is possible that more than one-third of the key diagnostic measurements required as part of the guidelines for the Qualcomm Tricorder Xprize can be made using light,’ said Dr Jason Eichenholz, CEO of Open Photonics. ‘We can not only offer innovative photonic solutions to teams, but can also offer to help them accelerate the integration of optical sensing approaches that are both smaller than conventional measurement techniques and increase diagnostic accuracy.’

There are 287 teams from 35 countries that have registered already. The deadline for registration is 30 August. After a qualifying round to reduce the number of contestants to 10 teams by June 2014, the competitors must have a device for evaluation ready by the start of 2015.