OSA names Consumer Physics winner of the Enabled by Optics Contest for its handheld spectroscopy system

Consumer Physics won OSA's Enabled by Optics Contest for its SCiO product, which integrates a near-infrared spectrometer with a smart phone.

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Israel-based Consumer Physics earned this year’s top corporate honor in The Optical Society’s (OSA) Enabled by Optics Contest for its SCiO product, which integrates a near-infrared spectrometer with a smart phone. The winner of the student video competition is Optics of Fingerprint Sensors, by a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team. The contest is intended to raise public awareness of the importance of optics and photonics technologies in furthering innovation and positively impacting society. It is co-sponsored by Laser Focus World and Lightwave.

“It’s remarkable what Consumer Physics has done,” said Gregory Quarles, OSA chief scientist. “By finding a way to condense a full scanning system, spectroscopy applications increase exponentially. As materials are scanned and identified and the spectral image is recorded and stored, the use cases for this technology grow. It’s what’s exciting about optics: the possibility transcends the technology of today, providing solutions for tomorrow.”

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Related information: More about the SCiO is available on the Consumer Physics website.

Building what Consumer Physics refers to as the world’s first database of matter, SCiO relies on a history of scans, or spectral images, stored in the cloud, to identify individual substances. The spectrometer scans images and reads the chemical make-up of materials, searches the database for a match and delivers the data to an app on a smart phone.

“We built a platform to allow both consumers and businesses to analyze materials,” said Dror Sharon, CEO, Consumer Physics. “Businesses will develop molecular sensing models in fields such as food, pharmaceutical, agriculture, manufacturing and more for their internal or commercial use. Consumers will be able to explore more materials and build mini applications for their personal use, sharing it with the broader community.”

Consumer Physics offers a developer toolkit and encourages technologists and business leaders to consider the impact SCiO could make. Already apps are appearing, incorporating SCiO into their platforms to evaluate materials (see, for example, DietSensor).

OSA also sponsors an Enabled by Optics student competition to encourage those studying optics and photonics to explain the science to a broader community. In a video format, students take apart any product that has an optical component, and demonstrate how optics makes the product work.

This year’s student winner video explains the optics of fingerprint sensors, including their role in identity protection. Created by a team of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA, including Courtney Krafczyk, Rebecca Holmes, Michelle Victora, Jia Jun Wong, and Sheldon Scot Schlie, the award-winning video clarifies how optics identifies the distinguishing ridges and valleys in a person’s fingerprint. The team will receive a $1000 cash prize, in addition to broad promotion of their submission.

OSA will recognize this year’s corporate and student winners at the plenary keynote session of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), June 5-10, 2016, in San Jose, CA. In addition, Consumer Physics will delve into SCiO via a panel demonstration during the conference on Wednesday, 8 June.

All the finalists for the corporate award and the student awards, with links, are ONLINE HERE.

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