Top Photonics News: Smart Phones--August 23, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013
Smartphones just continue to get smarter, thanks to the numerous optical and photonic-related technologies they incorporate.
Gail Overton 720

Smartphones just continue to get smarter, thanks to the numerous optical and photonic-related technologies they incorporate.

We've covered many of those emerging photonic innovations in the past, and the slideshow mentioned above lets the reader know just how many have reached commercial fruition. As if microscopy, spectroscopy, PV site planning, hand-vein bioidentification, and multispectral imaging aren't enough, the news over the past few weeks adds several more new smartphone capabilities (and their implications) to the mix:

1. How about your smartphone controlling your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic?:
"Smartphone Platform to Function as Artificial Pancreas?"

2. In addition to the camera already supplied within your smartphone, Sony wants you to be able to attach a high-performance camera (we're talking 20 megapixel, German optics) to your smartphone and communicate with it:
"Clip a Camera to Your Smartphone!"

3. Not all smartphone news is good news. Remember the research that said smartphones cause tumors? Now it's possible that smartphones can cause vision problems:
"Smartphones spark surge in short sightedness"

4. All that smartphone usage may be great for the bottom line of manufacturers and service providers, but it sure is sucking up the power. Is your iPhone really consuming more energy than your refrigerator?:
"The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy [UPDATE]"

5. Despite the bad press, smartphones have 'genius' features and it's little wonder that companies like Heptagon have shipped one billion photonic-based smartphone systems ranging from imaging cameras and sensor modules to LED flash, infrared beam shaping, and gesture-control interfaces for time-of-flight and other motion-sensing applications:
"Heptagon Ships One Billion Units"

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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