Taking stock

Dec. 1, 2003
It can be easy to get overly absorbed by the details and minor setbacks of day-to-day life, especially when activities at work and home conspire to challenge our patience, management skills, and available time.

It can be easy to get overly absorbed by the details and minor setbacks of day-to-day life, especially when activities at work and home conspire to challenge our patience, management skills, and available time. So it pays once in a while to look back and take stock of what we actually have accomplished—and most people are pleasantly surprised when they do this at how long the list of achievements turns out to be.

It shouldn't be unexpected then, that a comprehensive list of optoelectronics advances made during 2003 would be longer than we can cover here in a single article. Nonetheless, the end of the year does present a unique opportunity to highlight some of the more intriguing optoelectronics developments of the past 12 months; so senior editor John Wallace offers his choices for the best of 2003 in our Technology Review 2003. Wallace's picks range from basic science to applied photonics and cover a range of areas from liquid lenses to high-speed CMOS cameras. You can find these and more of his picks starting on page 93.

The Photon Forum

The ultimate commercial success of technologies like those chosen by Wallace is often difficult to predict, regardless of how appealing they may be to a scientist or engineer, or how well they appear to solve a problem for an end user. For some, like terahertz imaging, the potential seems obvious, while for others it is less so. But any eventual success will only come about through a well-honed combination of the technology meeting an unfulfilled need in the marketplace, appropriate investment, and good marketing.

With this in mind, Laser Focus World together with OpticsReport (a publication of Breault Research Organization; Tucson, AZ) will be launching a new event in 2004. Named the Photon Forum, the event will bring together investors, scientists, engineers, and potential end users to facilitate the process by which emerging technologies can become commercial successes. The program is designed for active investors as well as leaders in the optics and photonics industry: Technology overviews will be directly coupled to discussions of "real world" applications and commercial opportunities, as well as offering investors' perspectives of these opportunities. To find out more, visit www.photonforum.com.

About the Author

Stephen G. Anderson | Director, Industry Development - SPIE

 Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.    

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