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A Vision of the Future

Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com

At The Vision Show last month in Boston, keynote speaker Dennis Treece spoke about the evolving “security vision” market, in which machine vision for packaging integrity is morphing to perform security duties. The retired Army colonel and former director of security and emergency preparedness for the Massachusetts Port Authority delivered a presentation on cutting-edge surveillance technologies in use today, saying that a lucrative market exists despite concerns ranging from cost and ease of retrieval to access, use and privacy policies. In this era, he said, when every smartphone and tablet can take pictures, “public and private surveillance images plus public participation is the new black” for forensic use of the technology.

Surveillance systems also are making use of the latest advances in 3-D sensing systems. In our cover story, authors Andre Wong and Markus Bilger of JDSU explain how technology is already evolving in complexity from offering capabilities such as tracking animals and humans to keep them safe in high-risk areas, to knowing not just that a head nodded, for example, but whose head it was. Some of the technology behind these changes is described in “Light Sources, Filters Enable 3-D Sensing Advances,” starting on page 40.

Also in this issue, contributing editor Marie Freebody explores a range of new materials – including semipolar GaN and nonpolar GaN – that are bringing improved performance and efficiency to LEDs, along with the promise of better consumer acceptance. Her feature, “Materials Hold Secret to Better LED Performance, Efficiency, Value,” starts on page 34. The semiconductor crystals known as quantum dots are poised to bring brighter and more vivid colors to displays, and are “ready for their close-up,” according to freelance writer Melinda Rose. What’s more, they can do it with improved power consumption, Rose reports. “QDs Up Display Color, Brightness with Less Power” begins on page 46.

In “LEDs, Other Optoelectronic Components Merging for Emerging Applications,” science writer Valerie C. Coffey explains how “the parts that make up other parts” will benefit from advances in on-chip integration, materials and fabrication methods. The feature starts on page 54. And, finally, contributing editor Hank Hogan reveals how hiding powerful laser light is just one of the ways that embedded or enclosed lasers can move safely into new applications. His feature, “Engineering Makes Powerful Lasers Safer,” begins on page 58.

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