As I write about integrated photonics I continue to hear from long-time experts in the field who lament that integrated photonics has been around for decades and other than telecom/datacom, it seems to never be a mainstream technology. It’s hard to argue that this time around it will be different as those people have lived through some very lean times for photonics and are rightfully pessimistic. They had high hopes ten or fifteen years ago and those hopes didn’t come to fruition. It takes a brave soul to take the risk of getting re-energized and passionate about something knowing full well those hopes could be dashed yet again. Then there is another set of people who are newly curious about integrated photonics and these people inevitably run into those industry experts and suddenly we have self-fulling prophesy. We convince ourselves that photonics didn’t take off before so it won’t take off now.
I am however nothing if not an optimist and a dreamer. I’m an inventor looking for ways to make the world better and I am forever intrigued by the wonders of nature and its physics and thus I forge on. It’s with that mind set that I am excitedly looking forward to attending the upcoming SPIE Photonics West show to be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco January 28[SUP]th[/SUP] – February 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]. If you have never been to the Photonics West show and if you are the least bit curious about photonics, integrated or otherwise, you should take the time to visit scenic San Francisco and check out this show. The full program can be found here www.spie.org/pwprogram. The show boast two free expositions and three for-pay conferences in one venue and if you are a gadget person, you will simply be amazed at the array things on display at these exhibitions. The two free expositions are BIOS (the world’s largest biomedical optics and biophotonics exhibition) and Photonics West (the premier photonics and laser event of the year).
The BIOSexposition and conference runs Saturday and Sunday, January 28[SUP]th[/SUP] and 29[SUP]th.[/SUP], and focuses on topics like biomedical optics, photonic therapeutics and diagnostics, neurophotonics, tissue engineering, translational research, tissue optics, clinical technologies and systems, biomedical spectroscopy, microscopy, imaging, and nano/biophotonics. Free exhibitions are included from 200 companies in this space.
The Photonics Westexpositions run Tuesday through Thursday, January 31st – February 2nd. There are two conferences coincident with the exhibitions, LASE and OPTO, that concurrently for the entire week from January 28th through February 2nd. LASE focuses on topics like laser source engineering, nonlinear optics, laser manufacturing, laser micro-/nano-engineering, and 3D fabrication. OPTO focuses on topics like optoelectronic materials and devices, photonic integration, displays and holography, nanotechnologies in photonics, advanced quantum and optoelectronic applications, semiconductor lasers and LEDs, MOEMS-MEMS, and optical communications from devices to systems. Free exhibitions are available during Photonics West from over 1,300 companies
The show is expected to draw over 20,000 attendees with over 4,800 papers and 72 courses and workshops available for those who want to tune up their technical skills. As part of the free exhibitions there are also a couple of forums that you might want to attend to better understand the market opportunities that lay ahead. The first is these is the Biophotonics Executive Forum which is a half-day session that includes discussion on global optics and biophotonics markets and emerging technologies. The second is the SPIE Photonics Industry Analysis: 2017 Update which will cover sizes of markets, geographic distribution, components and applications. Lastly there are a number of panel sessions that are available as part of the free exhibitions. These cover a wide range of topics from virtual reality, 3D printing, silicon photonics and ICs, solid-state lighting and advice for photonic startups. Check out the SPIE website here for more details on how to register and attend.
If this conference doesn’t light your fire for photonics, your wood is wet. I hope to see you there!