Light and Sound Interactive 2019 Exceeds Attendance Expectations

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More than 700 people gathered in Rochester June 25-27 for the 2019 Light and Sound Interactive (LSI), a conference dedicated to optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) where innovators showcased current and future technology.

The 2019 Light and Sound Interactive was held in Rochester, N.Y., June 25 - 27. Courtesy of Manon Mirabelli.

Terry Clas, LSI conference chair, said the leadership team’s attendance goal was 300, its hope was for 500, and the actual number was more than 700, making the event a success for organizers, attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and companies alike. 

“Our goal and mission is economic development,” Clas said. “LSI is an initiative to bring together companies from the region so they can collaborate with other small and medium-sized companies in an interactive environment.”

The future of the industry, Clas said, is integrated photonics, which incorporates the use of silicon to transmit data.

“Where we had lasers and waveguides we can now integrate silicon to manage photonics instead of electrons,” he said. “Photons beat electrons every day of the week for data and communication. Every compound, every molecule has a photonic fingerprint.”

The conference comprised 90 speakers, 70 demonstrators, three keynote speakers, six tracks, and the Luminate NY competition during which one startup was awarded $1 million to launch its business. Luminate also awarded one $500,000 winner, two $250,000 winners, and one audience favorite that was awarded $10,000.

Another goal of the conference, Clas said, was to gather established and startup companies in one location to tout their products and concepts while exposing young enterprises to possible investors.

“An important part of this is the vibe and experience,” he said. “We wanted to showcase this (Rochester, N.Y.) area. There are more OPI companies in a 50-mile radius here than there are anywhere else in the world. New companies come here because of that core.”

Although Rochester is currently at the forefront of photonic advancements in the world, Clas said the U.S. needs to think proactively to stay ahead of the competition coming out of Europe and Asia.

“We need to make an investment now to be competitive in this country,” he said.

Published: July 2019
integrated photonics
Integrated photonics is a field of study and technology that involves the integration of optical components, such as lasers, modulators, detectors, and waveguides, on a single chip or substrate. The goal of integrated photonics is to miniaturize and consolidate optical elements in a manner similar to the integration of electronic components on a microchip in traditional integrated circuits. Key aspects of integrated photonics include: Miniaturization: Integrated photonics aims to...
BusinessAmericasintegrated photonicsLight and Sound InteractiveRochester NYTerry Classilicon photonicsOpticsImaging

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