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SPIE Digital Optical Technologies 2017 news and photos

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SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Digital Optical Technologies launches with optical architectures

Bernard Kress, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Bernard Kress

SPIE Digital Optical Technologies, a new conference chaired by Bernard Kress of Microsoft, Wolfgang Osten of Universität Stuttgart, and Paul Urbach of Technische Universiteit Delft, opened Monday to a standing-room-only audience, following a suite of well-attended courses in related topics held Sunday.

Kress introduced the conference, noting that its perhaps generic title reflects technology that is digital in design — usually with no analog solution, in how it is fabricated, and in functionality.

As for optics, he noted the sensor technologies involved as well as comfort issues to be addressed in current, well-hyped head-mounted applications, such as size, weight, center of gravity, and inertia.

The first session covered optical architectures for augmented, mixed, and virtual reality head-mounted displays (HMDs).

Byoungho Lee, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Byoungho Lee
Uwe Vogel, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Uwe Vogel

Opening speaker Byoungho Lee of Seoul National University identified several issues to be addressed in augmented reality (AR), including data processing demands, display performance, and interaction and contents (10335-1). AR has recently attracted considerable attention as one of the most spotlighted next-generation technologies, Lee noted.

Next up, Uwe Vogel of Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik discussed wearable AR applications in industry and logistics and the "professionals to citizens" transition to numerous additional uses. He outlined the challenges in addressing OLED microdisplays in near-to-eye applications, for minimizing system size and power consumption while providing exceptional contrast and color space (10335-2).

Juan Miñano of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Limbak introduced a time multiplexing strategy to improve field of view and resolution in virtual reality (VR), for images seen in both VR and AR headsets (10335-3).

James Babington of Qioptiq Ltd. discussed phase space techniques and methods in analyzing HMD systems, considering the examples of a shark-tooth freeform geometry and a waveguide geometry that replicates a pupil in 1D (10335-4).

Bo Chen of Universität Stuttgart outlined a comparison of different designs of HMDs with large field of view (10335-5).


Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) systems demo

Trying out reality — multiple ways

The first of three sessions available for personal demos on four systems for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) ran Monday afternoon. Participants were offered private sessions on the Microsoft HoloLens MR untethered headset, Oculus Rift CV1VR headset with hand controllers, HTC Vive R headset with hand controllers, and Sony PlayStation VR headset with hand controllers.

The demo sessions were organized by SPIE Digital Optical Technologies conference chair Bernard Kress of Microsoft, and available by advance registration at no charge to Laser World of Photonics participants.

AR/VR/MR HMD demonstration Virtual Reality Demo


Putting a spin on photons: Jörg Wachtrup plenary talk

Efficient matter-photon interfaces are key ingredients of quantum technology, noted Jörg Wachtrup, head of the 3rd Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart, in his World of Photonics Congress-wide plenary talk on Monday morning. While quantum communication relies on photo storage and processing, spin photon interfaces can also increase the sensitivity of quantum sensors, Wachtrup said.


Innovations in metamaterials expand range of applications in optical design, imaging

Federico Capasso, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Federico Capasso

In an invited talking opening presentations Tuesday morning in the Digital Optical Technologies conference, Frederico Capasso of Harvard Univesty described the use of metasurfaces in polarization optics — highly innovative work demonstrating the wide range of applications that metamaterials enable in optical design and imaging (10330-5).

The capability of metamaterials to control phase based on polarization state enables a high degree of flexibility in the design of diffractive structures.

In particular, with proper design and fabrication, it is possible to encode multiple functions at the same imaging plane. Capasso described the diverse nature of work in his lab in leveraging these properties, including the demonstration of chiral holograms with independent far-field behavior and the construction of elliptical polarization beam splitters.


Reconfiguarable optics and computer-generated holography

A session Tuesday morning in the Digital Optical Technologies conference featured speakers on several aspects of tunable, switchable, and reconfigurable optics. Among them were Robert Stevens of Adlens Ltd. with a review of adjustable lenses for HMDs (10335-25), Neal Weinstock of Solidd Corp. with a report on a robust liquid crystal device with adjustable deflection and diffraction for multiple applications (10335-26), and Tariq Shamim Khwaja of Lahore University of Management Sciences on a high-resolution optical rangefinder using tunable focus optics and spatial photonic signal processing (10335-27).

In a session on computer-generated holography, Ralf Häussler of SeeReal Technologies GmbH reported on a large holographic 3D display for real-time computer-generated holography (10335-30).

Robert Stevens in SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Robert Stevens
Neal Weinstock, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Neal Weinstock
Tariq Shamim Khwaja, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Tariq Shamim Khwaja
Ralf Häussler in SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Ralf Häussler


Aydogan Ozcan in ECBO plenary session

Aydogan Ozcan (above) and Ed Boyden presented plenary talks at ECBO.

New applications of light for healthcare: Ed Boyden and Aydogan Ozcan plenary talks

Ed Boyden of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California, Los Angeles, spoke before a packed room Tuesday afternoon on new tools for healthcare, in plenary talks for the European Conference on Biomedical Optics, co-sponsored by SPIE and OSA.

Boyden, professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute, covered tools for seeing and controlling biological systems utilizing expansion microscopy.

Essentially a new way of imaging at the nanoscale, expansion microscopy uses polymers to pull molecules apart, creating polymeric threads that can more easily be seen at the nanoscale, thus creating transparent and enhanced images. This technique was published two years ago by Boyden's group at MIT.

Ozcan, Chancellor's Professor, head of the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory, and Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and an HHMI Professor with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, covered computational microscopy, sensing, and diagnostics — with an emphasis on democratizing powerful tools accessible to everyone with a smartphone. His aim is to fully employ the technologies that make up the smartphone, as a platform for delivering telemedicine. The result is an efficient diagnostic tool that is cost-effective and surprisingly robust in its capabilities, particularly for global health applications.

Because existing platforms are used, improvements in cell phone imaging technologies continually push the boundaries of what can be achieved using the integrated tools that incorporate machine learning.

Ozcan's groups are also working on diagnosing antimicrobial resistance, and monitoring air quality and other environmental markers.


Structured illumination

Jürgen Czarske, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Jürgen Czarske
Demetri Psaltis, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies

Demetri Psaltis

Digital Optical Technologies talks continued through Wednesday, with a morning session on digttal optics for structured illumination.

Speakers included Jürgen Czarske of Technische Universität Dresden and Demetri Psaltis of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Czarske described work in stuctured illumination 3D microscopy using adaptive lenses and multimode fibers.

High spatial and temporal resolution are required for in vivo study of biological cells and tissues. Adaptive lenses exhibit strong potential for fast motion-free axial scanning. However, Czarske noted, they also lead to a degradation of the achievable resolution because of aberrations. His team overcame this hurdle by using computational imaging.

Psaltis reported on work in imaging and pattern projection through multicore fibers, using the memory effect.

It is possible to focus coherent light through a multicore fiber with a resolution finer than the core-to-core spacing using digital phase conjugation. Psaltis' team used the memory effect, and showed that the displacement of the focus spot can be realized simply by tilting the beam incident on the multicore fiber.

Their method demonstrated high-resolution imaging and pattern projection with a calibration procedure consisting of the acquisition of a single digital hologram.


Controlling the wavefront with metasurface diffractive optics: Federico Capasso plenary talk

Bernard Kress, Federico Capasso, Jim Oschmann at SPIE plenary session

From left, SPIE Digital Optical Technologies chair
Bernard Kress of Microsoft, plenary speaker
Federico Capasso of Harvard University, and SPIE
Vice President Jim Oschmann of Ball Aerospace

Metasurfaces based on subwavelength patterning have major potential for arbitrary control of the wavefront of light by achieving local control of the phase, amplitude, and polarization, thereby allowing greater functionality and more compact devices, said SPIE plenary speaker Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at Harvard University.

In a fascinating talk, Capasso described high-performance metalenses for the visible, achromatic lenses, axicons, vortex plates, holograms, ultracompact spectrometers, and polarimeters, and discussed the potential of this technology for a wide range of applications.

Metasurfaces enable the generation of wavefronts with arbitrary phase profiles, a property which be utilized to construct a number of interesting optical components.

By varying the polarization of the incident light, it is also possible to program multiple functions into a single metasurface.

Capasso reviewed a number of results from his laboratory. Planar lenses demonstrating diffraction-limited focusing and subwavelength resolution imaging were described as was a scheme for coma correction using doublet metalenses with a Schmidt corrector plate.

The multifunctionality of metasurface structures was stressed and demonstrated through multispectral chiral imaging and meta-spectrometer examples.

Capasso shared some of his team's latest results including an immersion lens with NA 1.1 and tunable lenses using dielectric elastomers, showing that metasurfaces are not only interesting for their properties and behavior but can also be utilized to design useful and unique optical components in a manufacturable and practical fashion.

There can be little doubt, as Capasso implied, that such components will find their way into optical systems in the near future.


welcome reception

Making connections, gaining knowledge

Networking events and opportunities for gaining knowledge at SPIE activities spanned the week in Munich; above, participants enjoy the SPIE welcome reception.


Leadership skills for real life: Student Chapter workshop

Student Workshop

Approximately 36 SPIE Student Chapter leaders from around the world gathered on Saturday for a full day of leadership training, in advance of SPIE conferences in conjunction with the Laser World of Photonics Congress.

The Student Chapter Leadership Workshop, moderated by Jean-luc Doumont, Principiae, (below right) focused on the qualities of good leaders and how to apply those in leading their chapters.

Students had the opportunity to problem-solve real-life chapter problems and network with other students from 16 countries and 21 different chapters.

student leadership workshop moderator Jean-luc Doumont


Let's do lunch: students and Fellows connect

student and Fellows luncheon scholarship winners, student and Fellows luncheon

It was a great afternoon for networking in Munich. Students and SPIE Fellows had the opportunity to enjoy lunch together Monday while exchanging career stories at the Fairgrounds Restaurant Seeblick. Fellows offered career advice and gave insight into various optics and photonics career paths, while students shared personal experiences and grew their professional networks.

Two SPIE scholarship recipients, (from left, in photo at right above) Jordi Morales-Dalmau of ICFO — Institut de Ciències Fotòniques and Bobin Varghese of Lab Hubert Curien, CNRS, Université de Lyon, were recognized by SPIE Vice President  Jim Oschmann of Ball Aerospace at the luncheon.


Optical Metrology Welcome Reception

For opening night: beer and pretzels — and networking!

Conference attendees and guests gathered in the congress center Monday evening to enjoy a light meal and beverages, and the opportunity to unwind and network after a day of attending presentations.

SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception
SPIE Optical Metrology Welcome Reception SPIE reception


SPIE Optical Metrology and Digital Optical Technologies poster session

Connecting in the poster halls

The week’s three poster sessions for SPIE Optical Metrology and SPIE Digital Optical Technologies were topicallly aligned with conferences, covering areas such as videometrics, machine vision, and optics for arts, architecture, and archaeology.


Top papers recognized with SPIE awards at ECBO

Songfeng Han, ECBO 2017 Best Student Paper Award

Songfeng Han
Richard Haindl, ECBO 2017 Best Student Paper Award

Richard Haindl

SPIE Best Student Paper awards were presented on Tuesday to ECBO authors Songfeng Han of the University of Rochester and Richard Haindl of the Medical University of Vienna.

Han’s paper was “Diffuse correlation tomography reveals spatial and temporal difference in blood flow change among murine femorial grafts.”

Haindl won for “Dual modality optical coherence and photoacoustic microscopy with an akinetic acoustic sensor for direct reflection mode imaging.”


Magnus Bengtsson, Hagar Edelstain, and Gary Hayes

Career questions: should I stay or should I go?

Academia or industry? Stay in my current job, or make a career transition?

A Career Choices panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon addressed some of the many critical career choices and decisions that face new graduates in optics and photonics, and explored some potential career pathways in photonics.

Panelists offering solid advice in a wide-ranging discussion on how to translate knowledge, abilities, and interests into meaningful work were (from left), Magnus Bengtsson, Vice President Strategic Marketing, Coherent; Hagar Edelstain, Optical Engineer, HoloLens Microsoft; and Gary Hayes, CEO/General Manager, Laser Components USA.


SPIE welcome reception

Welcome, in Munich style

SPIE attendees and guests enjoyed an evening reception at the Ratskeller am Marienplatz Wednesday evening near the close of the event week.

SPIE welcome reception SPIE welcome reception
SPIE welcome reception


News coverage

What was new at the Laser trade fair?, Laser Focus World (6 July 2017)

Capasso gives illuminating metasurface plenary, (28 June 2017)

Laser World of Photonics preview: exciting, Laser Focus World (11 June 2017)


Press releases

New conference on Digital Technologies joins SPIE Optical Metrology in Munich (7 June 2017)

Rare opportunity to explore augmented, virtual, mixed reality systems to be offered at SPIE Digital Optical Technologies (22 March 2017)


All photos © SPIE unless otherwise noted.

SPIE Optics + Photonics

6 – 29 June 2017
Munich, Germany

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