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SPIE and Photonics Media Announce Finalists for 2022 Prism Awards

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The annual awards celebrate the best of photonics innovation in areas such as industrial lasers, biomedical devices, augmented and virtual reality, and quantum.

Innovations in sensing, augmented and virtual reality, software, and other optics and photonics technologies are among the 30 products that SPIE selected as finalists for the 2022 Prism Awards. The finalists, grouped into 10 categories, are vying for victory in the annual competition and event that recognizes photonics industry advancements.

SPIE and its media partner Photonics Media will announce the winners at a ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. This year, SPIE received 120 Prism Awards applications from companies in 18 countries.

“The 2022 Prism Awards finalists represent the most impactful innovations of the optics and photonics industry,” said Kent Rochford, SPIE’s CEO. “Whether they are working on health care-related technologies, quantum-focused advances, or making self-driving vehicles safer for our roads, these are the scientists, engineers, and companies that are striving to make our lives better by bringing these exciting commercial products to market. We look forward to recognizing and congratulating all the nominees, as well as announcing the winners in person at Photonics West.”

Photonics Media CEO and President Tom Laurin said, “The Prism Awards celebrate the wide reach of photonics in virtually every aspect of our world, from medicine and manufacturing, research, communications, transportation, and entertainment. We’re pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with SPIE — now in its 14th year — as we once again honor those who are taking the industry to new heights of technical achievement. We applaud the nominees and wish them the best of luck for the January presentation.”

Courtesy of Adam Resnick.


Courtesy of Adam Resnick.


Augmented & Virtual Reality


Avegant (San Mateo, Calif.)
The AG-30L uses Avegant’s unique optical and illumination technologies to deliver an easily manufacturable light engine for a new generation of compact and stylish AR glasses. The light engine powers a high-resolution display with a 30° field of view. The design greatly reduces volume and weight, coming in at just under 2 g.

Luxexcel (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
The Luxexcel VisionPlatform includes all elements required to 3D-print lenses for conventional and smart glasses. The technology is a stable, scalable platform with the flexibility to create large volumes of products with individual specifications. The VisionPlatform creates prescription lenses with integrated smart technology inside the lens, enabling fashionable smart eyewear.

Metalenz (Boston)
Metalenz’s flat optical technology platform is helping to transform optical sensing for consumer electronics and other markets. Working with leading companies in augmented and virtual reality, Metalenz supplies metaoptics that provide system-level advantages over traditional optics by reducing the size and weight of imaging systems, as well as the form factor of illumination systems. Built on a foundational innovation in metaoptics, the technology enables significant reduction in the complexity and size of optical modules while improving system performance.

Autonomous Vehicles


Labsphere (North Sutton, N.H.)
Labsphere’s Permaflect Targets are robust diffuse reference reflectance coatings that can be applied to 2D and 3D backing materials to create grayscale targets for the calibration and characterization of lidar and time-of-flight systems designed to detect objects at any range. The targets maintain their appearance under a wide variety of lighting conditions and have uniform spectral response. They are thermally and physically durable, thermally color stable, and UV light stable. The coatings have no gloss, no polarization, and no fluorescence.

Leica Geosystems (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
The BLK2FLY autonomous flying laser scanner from Leica Geosystems AG captures 3D point clouds of building exteriors, structures, and environments. Its fully integrated lidar allows advanced obstacle avoidance for easy reality capture from the sky, while the scanner captures colorized point cloud data to produce 3D models, drawings, and visualizations. Users choose a location to tell the BLK2FLY to go to, then watch the system navigate itself safely around obstacles to capture an accurate, uniform scan.

Lumotive (Bellevue, Wash.)
A small and cost-effective 3D sensing solution, Lumotive’s M30 Meta-Lidar Platform comprises a tiny lidar device with patented beam steering technology, software-defined scan modes, and a reference system design. It is designed for product developers in robotics, automotive, and consumer electronics who need reliable, high-performance 3D-sensing capabilities, such as surround sensing, safety cocooning, augmented reality features, logistics automation, and autonomous navigation.

Better Sensing


Emberion (Espoo, Finland)
The Emberion VS20 VIS-SWIR Camera provides superior responsivity with very low noise over a broad spectral range from visible (400-nm) to SWIR (2000-nm) wavelengths in room-temperature operation. The camera features an optional housing for efficient thermal management and protection against dust and water ingress. A standard C-mount optical interface and a 1-in. sensor form factor provide flexibility and ample compatibility. The camera can be used in machine vision, automotive industries, security and night vision, and medical imaging, as well as in the industrial process and quality control sectors.

Stratio (Madrid)
BeyonSense is a pioneering germanium-based shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera that connects wirelessly with iOS and Android smart devices to extend vision from 400 through 700 nm and from 800 through 1600 nm. The device is designed for low-cost, high-volume applications such as night vision, precision agriculture, pest control, home inspection, security cameras, food inspection, outdoor adventures, and more. Designed to bring SWIR camera technology to everyday use, BeyonSense is compact, lightweight, and affordable.

SWIR Vision Systems (Durham, N.C.)
The Acuros eSWIR Camera is the first extended short-wavelength infrared (eSWIR) camera with sensitivity from 350 to 2000 nm. This new family of eSWIR products is built with pixel formats up to 1920 × 1080, at a pixel pitch of 15 µm. These cameras provide high levels of detectivity and dark noise performance at room temperature. All Acuros cameras are GenICam compliant and come with USB3 or GigE Vision interfaces.

Biomedical Devices


OmniVision (Santa Clara, Calif.)
The OVMed OH0FA is a high-performance 0.93- × 0.93-mm analog image sensor in a 1/18-in. optical format for ENT, cardiac, arthro, OB-GYN, and utero-renal endoscopes. The sensor provides 720 × 720 resolution at 30 fps — the highest available resolution to help diagnose early-stage diseases. Built on OmniVision’s PureCel Plus-S pixel technology, the sensor provides high color fidelity and a signal-to-noise ratio of 37.5 dB, for crisper and more realistic medical images.

PlenOptika (Cambridge, Mass.)
QuickSee is a hand-held wavefront autorefractor that automatically determines the correct lens prescription for your eyes. QuickSee’s combination of open-view binocular design, wavefront aberrometry, and dynamic measurements produces clinically accurate autorefraction measurements in a durable hand-held format suitable for use in clinics and in the field. The patented PlenOptika Wavefront Refraction Engine performs continuous data analysis to precisely determine low-order refractive errors, making QuickSee as accurate as high-end clinical desktop autorefractors.

Research Instruments Corp. (Providence, R.I.)
The Laser-plasma X-ray Source (LPXS) delivers unprecedented perfor- mance that cannot be achieved with conventional x-ray tubes. The device generates bright x-rays by using an ultrafast laser pulse that affects a recirculating liquid-metal stream to produce high-brilliance x-rays with pulsed picosecond to femtosecond x-rays to unlock time-resolved experiments in the lab. Because the laser target in an LPXS is a liquid metal, each laser shot encounters a fresh surface. Metal vapor and droplets are collected and recirculated to the target metal pump for maintenance-free operation.

Displays


ams OSRAM (Munich)
The TSL2521 Ambient Light Sensor with Flicker Detection from ams OSRAM fits in a tiny bezel or gap between the display screen and the chassis of the smartphone to enable the screen to stretch from edge to edge on the chassis, with no aperture, enabling smartphone manufacturers to maximize the viewable screen area while enabling camera image correction. The device comes in a low profile and small footprint, 2-mm (L) × 1-mm (W) × 0.5-mm (H) optical QFN package. Calculation results help to improve both the appearance of the display and the ability to capture pictures with the smartphone camera.

BRELYON (San Mateo, Calif.)
BRELYON’s Ultra Reality Display offers meters of true optical depth in a 120-in. panoramic virtual image that pans across the user’s field of vision. The display packs proprietary computational and optical technologies in a small footprint to provide an ultrawide 155° field of view, high fidelity up to 12K resolution and 9600 nits, and plug-and-play compatibility that outperforms multimonitor setups for a visually ergonomic experience.

Jade Bird Display (Hong Kong)
Jade Bird Display’s 0.13-in. Micro- LED Display is a diagonal active-matrix 4-µm pitch VGA display available in red, green, and blue, with a proprietary Pixel- Optics micro lens array. Its active area of 3.3 mm in diagonal and 640 × 480 resolution make it one of the smallest and brightest VGA displays, while potentially reducing power consumption and eliminating the need to use large-capacity polymer batteries made with rare-earth materials. The display has applications in augmented reality systems.

Software



MEETOPTICS (Barcelona, Spain)
A centralized AI-powered specialized photonics search engine service, MEETOPTICS Search helps engineers and researchers find technologies among verified worldwide suppliers and guides them to the optimal component for their application. The highly customizable engine makes it easy and fast to find, filter, and compare options, and it matches user requests and provides technical guidance.

Direct Machining Control
(Vilnius, Lithuania)
The DMC 5axis Module from Direct Machining Control is used to control 5axis machines, combining stage, scanner, and other hardware that is used for the process. The software is designed for laser cutting, 3D engraving, 3D printing, and printed circuit board processing. The company offers separate 5axis modules, depending on the application. After a system is configured, users import a computer-aided design object, set process parameters, and click Run. The company’s solutions handle trajectory calculation and process control.

Zemax (Kirkland, Wash.)
The OpticStudio STAR (Structural, Thermal, Analysis and Results) module from Zemax is a software solution that helps to analyze the impact of structural and thermal loads on optical designs. It can also conduct structural, thermal, and optical performance (STOP) analyses based on finite element analysis data sets. The solution reduces human error and reworked designs by blending and optimizing STOP and OpticStudio design processes into an integrated workflow.

Scientific Lasers


Class 5 Photonics (Hamburg, Germany)
Class 5 Photonics’ White Dwarf WD-1300-dual laser system is designed for three-photon microscopy. The dual output system operates at 1330 and 1700 nm simultaneously and allows neuroscientists to image deeper, faster, and at better resolution at green and red fluorescent markers. Repetition rates up to 10 MHz are available, and the system delivers pulse durations of <50 fs at the sample.

Fyla Laser (Valencia, Spain)
The Fyla SCH is a high-performance illumination source for multicolor multiphoton microscopy, based on a compact broadband (~900 to 1200 nm), 15 fs, 75 MHz all-fiber white laser. It incorporates a dispersion pre-compensator and a power modulator, enables the simultaneous excitation of all fluorophores using two- and three-photon excitation with high peak powers on the sample plane, and delivers a peak power of >200 kW.

Stuttgart Instruments (Stuttgart, Germany)
Stuttgart Instruments’ Alpha Series is a fully wavelength-tunable frequency conversion system usable in the 700-nm to 20-µm spectral range. The system maintains high output power at milliwatt-to-watt levels, with femtosecond-to-picosecond pulses at several megahertz pulse repetition rates. Low noise and passive long-term stability enable system use in the most demanding applications, including scanning near-field optical microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and hyperspectral imaging. The ultracompact and completely passively stable system is designed for research applications.

Quantum


ColdQuanta (Boulder, Colo.)
Albert: The Quantum Emulator Machine from ColdQuanta is designed to accelerate quantum-enabled product development. Albert offers a rapid design, test, and validation environment to accelerate the product-to-market timeframe. The solution provides hosted access to hardware and solutions libraries, enabling direct engineering. Supported applications range from ultracold matter delivery to complete quantum simulations. Customers may choose from multiple species, coating, glass cell, and chip transfer options.

Hamamatsu (Hamamatsu, Japan)
The ORCA-Quest quantitative CMOS (qCMOS) camera delivers photon number resolving capability that makes it more than an image capture device. This advanced new camera features extremely low-noise performance, a back-illuminated structure, high resolution, a large number of pixels, and a high-speed readout. The ORCA-Quest further offers the quality and quantitative performance needed to detect meaningful data previously lost in camera noise. Hamamatsu’s new qCMOS device represents a leap in the evolution of scientific cameras that will enable researchers to explore new questions in photonics and detect the answers.

Toshiba (Tokyo)
Toshiba’s Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) System supports users who need to secure data communications against cybersecurity threats. The system is secured using the laws of quantum physics and mechanics. The QKD offering has two variants: the Multiplexed System, which can be operated on data-carrying fiber, and the Long Distance System, which supports high key rates and ranges. The Multiplex System exhibits a working range of up to 70 km and operates at a working range of up to 120 km.

Manufacturing & Test



ficonTEC (Achim, Germany)
ficonTEC’s Wafer-level Tester (WLT) is a flexible mixed-signal electro-optical, wafer-level, and die-level test system for photonic integrated devices (PICs) and other components. It features fully automated DC, RF, and optical probe measurements — both on wafer and at die level for devices on Gel-Pak and similar carrier formats. Applications for ficonTEC’s Wafer-level Tester include the characterization of VCSELs and the testing of photodiode bars.

LightPath Technologies (Orlando, Fla.)
Freeform Optics from LightPath Technologies supports applications in augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), automotive lidar, military optical systems, and medical technologies. LightPath uses a precision glass molding technology to mass-produce smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective freeform optics that deliver improved optical performance of traditional designs. The company’s capacity to produce millions of molded lenses can be broadened to support high-volume applications with precision-molded freeform optics.

Nanoscribe (Karlsruhe, Germany)
The Quantum X align is a two-photon grayscale lithography system from Nanoscribe that is designed for maskless microfabrication of refractive and diffractive micro-optics. The system enables the automatic alignment of 3D-printed freeform micro-optics and high-precision positioning onto complex 3D substrates such as optical fibers or photonic chips — supporting applications in photonics packaging and integration. The tool offers flexibility for the iteration and production of prototypes, and automation capabilities for scaling to small-series production.

Industrial Lasers


Civan Lasers (Jerusalem)
Civan Lasers’ OPA 6 Weld is a high-power, CW dynamic beam fiber laser based on coherent beam combining technology and designed for materials processing. The laser enables fast, real-time optimization of laser beam shape, focal distance, and power modulation, resulting in high-quality, defect-free welds, while also allowing welding of new materials. The OPA 6 Weld enables users to weld dissimilar and asymmetric materials, with additional applications in metal additive manufacturing and surface treatment.

Litilit (Vilnius, Lithuania)
The Neolit ultrashort-pulse fiber laser from Litilit supports seeding applications. NEOLIT seeders for laser amplifiers deliver ultrashort pulses that are free of consumable components and are long-lasting. The all-fiber design ensures high environmental stability against vibrations and thermal fluctuations. The Neolit supports seeding femtosecond and pico- second fiber lasers, as well as diode-pumped solid-state lasers. A single-box, passively cooled construction enables simple integration.

TOPTICA eagleyard (Berlin)
TOPTICA eagleyard’s µMOPA is a miniaturized, single-frequency monolithic master oscillator power amplifier system in a standardized package, based on scalable semiconductor technology. The design was created in response to increasing industrial demand for size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) and highly scalable systems. The µMOPA system is designed for scalable industrial use and will contribute to advancements in biophotonics, increasing health and well-being in applications such as the noninvasive diagnosis of diverse brain diseases.

For more information on the Prism Awards, please visit the official award website: www.photonicsprismaward.com.
 

About Photonics Media

Photonics Media publishes print and digital business-to-business magazines, buyers’ guides, websites, e-newsletters, webinars, virtual conferences, and podcasts for individuals working with light-based technologies in the photonics industry. A pioneering publisher in the discipline of photonics, Photonics Media has built a large global audience comprising academics and researchers, manufacturers, and end users. Over the past six decades, the company has fostered a tradition of innovation that has defined the industry. As its publications grow — following the technology into an ever-widening range of applications — the company adheres to a philosophy of editorial quality and integrity, maintaining an international reputation for leadership in photonics. www.photonics.com.

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 more than 258,000 constituents from 184 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2020, SPIE provided over $5.8 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. www.spie.org.

Contact:  Daneet Steffens

Public Relations Manager

[email protected]

+1 360 685 5478 @SPIEtweets


Photonics Spectra
Jan 2022
2022 Prism AwardsPrism AwardsSPIEPhotonics WestTom LaurinBusinessKent RochfordIndustry News

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