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Quantum tech, autonomous mobility, 3D printing/additive manufacturing in expanded SPIE Photonics West industry program

Full-day conference on AR/VR/MR, discussions on global investment impacts among highlights

29 November 2017

SPIE Photonics West 2017 VR panel

Expert panels on topics of high interest are an integral part of the industry program at
SPIE Photonics West. Above, from left, moderator Leo Baldwin (Amazon) and
panelists Micah Tinklepaugh (CERN), Scott McEldowney (Oculus), and
Frank Black (HTC VIVE) discuss challenges in virtual reality applications
during the 2017 event. Credit: Joey Cobbs Photography

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — Global investment in quantum technology, LiDAR-driven breakthroughs in autonomous mobility, the role of 3D printing in Industry 4.0, and applications for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are among hot topics in an industry program planned for SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco, California, early next year.

Photonics West 2018 will run 27 January through 1 February at the Moscone Center, and is expected to draw 20,000 researchers, technology developers, and buyers to the world's largest conference and exhibition on photonics.

Admission to the industry program is available at no charge, and registration is required. Information is at www.spie.org/PW18industry.

Industry sessions will run alongside two trade shows — the 1,300-company Photonics West Exhibition, the premier global photonics and lasers exhibition, and the 200-company  BiOS Expo, the world's largest biomedical optics and biophotonics exhibition — as well as technical conferences with more than 5,200 leading-edge presentations, seminars, training courses , and other events. Technical conference details and registration information are at www.spie.org/pw.

Expanding programs at Photonics West and other SPIE events underscore the society's long and close connection with industry, noted SPIE Industry Development Director Stephen Anderson.

"The connection dates back to the society's founding, and is a reflection of the reality that industry plays a majority role in the global research and innovation infrastructure," Anderson said. "We aim to help our industry partners do what they do best: apply research and innovation to solving real-world problems with photonics, whether in energy production, advanced manufacturing, efficient lighting, medical diagnostics and treatment, communications, or other areas."

Among the highlights at Photonics West:

  • The daylong industry conference on AR/VR and mixed reality technology challenges and successes will be moderated by Bernard Kress (Microsoft/Hololens). Speakers are Leo Baldwin (Amazon), Tish Shute (Huawei), Doug Lanman (Oculus), Jerry Carollo (Google), Ronald Azuma (Intel), and other industry leaders. The event includes 16 talks, a panel discussion, and hands-on demonstrations of a variety of headsets. More information is at www.spie.org/VR-AR-MR.
  • A discussion of how global investment is bringing quantum technologies to the marketplace will include panelists Rishiraj Pravahan (AT&T Foundry), Robert Rölver (Bosch), Mark Farries (Gooch & Housego), and Lars Unnebrink (BCI Technologiezentrum GmbH), and will be moderated by Anke Lohmann, developer of the UK Quantum Technologies Special Interest Group.
  • Laura Smoliar (Berkeley Catalyst Fund) will moderate an executive panel on how high-growth industries are embracing the innovation ecosystem. Panelists are Katharine Schmidtke (Facebook), Uwe Higgen (BMW i Ventures), Mostafa Ronaghi (Illumina), and Yuriko Kaida (Asahi Glass Chemical).
  • Industry 4.0 — the digitization of manufacturing — and disruptive technologies such as robotics along with the advent of the internet of things are stimulating the growth of 3D printing in mainstream manufacturing. Panelists Peter Leibinger (Trumpf GmbH), Andy Martin (GE Additive), Karsten Heuser (Siemens AG), and Jason Jones (Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies) will discuss challenges and opportunities in a discussion moderated by SPIE's Anderson.
  • Jason Eichenholz (Luminar) will discuss the disruptive technology of autonomous mobility, including  requirements for self-driving vehicles and a vision for a major breakthrough in LiDAR, vital technology for the driverless cars of the future.

Several industry-led workshops will provide grounding in a wide variety of topics, such as laser optics and polarizers, photodetectors, virtual prototyping, and laser materials processing. Panel sessions on silicon photonics, solid-state lighting, and graphene-CMOS integration will provide attendees with perspectives on growth opportunities.

Also noteworthy are:

  • An updated SPIE analysis of the size of the core global photonics market
  • The annual SPIE Startup Challenge pitch competition for pre-revenue companies
  • A Fast Pitch Lunch connecting entrepreneurs with potential investors and mentors
  • A gala awards banquet where industry leaders will announce winners of the 2018 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation

Recruiters from more than 30 companies are expected at the SPIE Career Center Job Fair (30-31 January).

The 200-company BiOS Expo (27 and 28 January) and the sold-out Photonics West Exhibition with approximately 1,300 exhibiting companies (30 January through 1 February) will showcase new laser systems, optical systems for therapeutic and diagnostic medical applications, game-changing communications capabilities, augmented or virtual reality equipment for industrial and other applications, and much more.

A comprehensive training program offers more than 70 courses in lasers and applications, sensors, imaging, IR systems, and optical and optomechanical engineering, plus professional development seminars and industry workshops.

SPIE Photonics West 2017 executive panel

Industry leaders in silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits share perspectives
in a panel discussion during SPIE Photonics West 2017. From left are Philippe Absil (imec),
Peter De Dobbelaere (Luxtera), Douglas Gill (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center),
Ashok Krishnamoorthy (Oracle), and Yannick Lize (Intel). Credit: Joey Cobbs Photography

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org

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