LiDAR, Laser Light Module, Nano-vibration Sensor Among Winners in Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation

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Ten outstanding new products from companies in four countries were named as winners in the 2018 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation at a gala banquet on 31 January during SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco. The annual competition recognizes new products and inventions that break with conventional ideas, solve problems, and improve life through the generation and application of light-based technologies, and is sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Photonics Media.

This year’s winning products — and indeed those of all the finalists — once again demonstrate the impressive ingenuity and creativity of engineers and inventors in our field.

A breakthrough LiDAR sensor architecture for self-driving vehicles, a sensor detecting nano-vibrations of the body with applications in elder-home healthcare and smart cars, and a light source capable of remotely delivering high-luminance broad-spectrum white light are among innovative new products named as winners in 10 categories of the prestigious 2018 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation.

Organized by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and sponsored by Photonics Media, the Prism Awards have for 10 years honored groundbreaking technology and product inventions within the high-impact industry of optics and photonics.

Winners from four countries were announced by industry leaders this evening (31 January) at SPIE Photonics West ( in San Francisco at a gala banquet that has become the largest annual global gathering of CEOs, VIPs, and entrepreneurs in photonics.

The winning companies and products are:

  • Detectors and Sensors: NKT Photonics (Denmark) LIOS EN.SURE Long Range DTS and RTTR, a long-range optical-fiber-based temperature- and strain-sensing measurement system designed to monitor underground transmission and distribution power cables, and overhead transmission lines
  • Environmental Monitoring: Block Engineering LLC (USA) LaserWarn Analyzer, uses Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) combined with mid-infrared spectroscopy to detect and identify chemical clouds in seconds
  • Illumination and Light Sources: SoraaLaser (USA) LaserLight Fiber Module, the world’s first white-light, high-luminance, remotely delivered white laser light module, enabling the highest luminance light source available
  • Imaging and Cameras: Luminar (USA) Model-G 3D LiDAR, sensor architecture delivering more than one million data points per second, with each point capable of reliably detecting less than 10% reflective targets at more than 200 meters away
  • Lasers: Class 5 Photonics GmbH (Germany) Supernova Optical Parametric Chirped-Pulse Amplifier, providing options for tunability, multiple outputs, and CEP stability to allow tailoring for custom multicolor experiments at full system performance and unprecedented stability over days
  • Life Science Instrumentation: Quantumcyte (USA) Q1 - ArraySeQ, enabling phenotypic profiling of single cells over thousands of cells simultaneously, and correlating that information to the genetic data collected from each cell
  • Material Processing and Additive Manufacturing: LIMO GmbH (Germany) Activation Line UV-L750, optical beam-delivery and beam-shaping system for UV laser lift-off of flexible OLED displays, which may be used for solid-state laser annealing as well
  • Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics: ContinUse Biometrics (Israel) SmartHealth Mod, first-ever sensor capable of simultaneously monitoring several bio-parameters continuously and from a distance, by detecting nano-vibrations of the body
  • Optics and Optomechanical Components: AdlOptica Optical Systems GmbH (Germany) foXXus -multi-focus optics, a highly flexible optics tool that gives lasers improved process performance at lower costs
  • Test and Measurement: Spheryx, Inc. (USA) xSight, the first quantitative measurement of both size and composition in complex fluid samples in their native environments — in real-time in a matter of minutes — to detect dangerous or damaging particles or simultaneously detect different particles of the same size

“This year’s winning products — and indeed those of all the finalists — once again demonstrate the impressive ingenuity and creativity of engineers and inventors in our field,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “These products will help improve healthcare for the elderly and the homebound, provide scientists with powerful new research tools, boost industrial productivity through enhanced additive manufacturing capabilities, and much more. SPIE’s mission has always been to provide connections and information to help facilitate research advances and invention in our field, and we are delighted to do so once again through the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation.”

“These Prism Award-winning products and the companies behind them have reached new heights of technical achievement and innovation and have risen to the top of an impressive field of entries,” said Thomas Laurin, president and CEO of Laurin Publishing. “Photonics Media is proud to have stood with SPIE and the Prism Awards for 10 years in supporting breakthroughs like these that continue to transform the photonics industry and the world, and we extend our heartiest congratulations to the winners.”

Presenting the awards were leaders from the photonics industry:

  • Kathleen Burke, Vice President and General Counsel at MKS Instruments
  • Debbie Gustafson, CEO of Energetiq Technology
  • Uwe Higgen, Managing Partner at BMW i Ventures
  • Akira Hiruma, President and CEO of Hamamatsu
  • Ray O. Johnson, Bessemer Venture Partners, former CTO, Lockheed Martin
  • Wilhelm Kaenders, Co-Founder and President TOPTICA Photonics
  • Peter Leibinger, Vice Chairman of the Managing Board of TRUMPF
  • Eric Mottay, CEO of Amplitude Systèmes
  • Darius Sankey, Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Capital
  • Danielle Wuchenich, Liquid Instruments & Lockheed Martin

Products and descriptions are detailed at

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 nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2016, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs.

About Photonics Media
Photonics Media, a brand of Pittsfield, Mass.-based Laurin Publishing Co. Inc., publishes Photonics Spectra, BioPhotonics, EuroPhotonics, Photonics Buyers' Guide and With a collective subscriber base of more than 150,000 worldwide and more than 4 million unique website visits per year, Laurin Publishing's Photonics Media products and publications lead the photonics industry with editorial excellence and integrity -- fostering a tradition of innovation and progress by sharing knowledge, insights and visions for the future. More information at

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