Photonics West 2017 in Review: Trends and Highlights

Posted by The RPO Team on Feb 10, 2017 10:10:00 AM

rpo-booth-lisa-tara-amy-pwest.jpgEvery year Photonics West brings together some of the biggest names in the industry, and every year attendees and exhibitors get an inside look at emerging technologies powered by light. This year it was all business—those technologies are here now.

We were excited to share our new capabilities in molded IR and plastic lenses, work through challenges in optical design and optical system assembly, and explore emerging needs.

RPO's 3 Takeaways from Photonics West


1. Virtual Reality (VR) is much bigger than gaming and entertainment

VR was a big trend at CES 2017, but it proved just as popular at Photonics West. Although VR tends to get most of the attention, augmented reality (AR) applications were the center of just as many conversations. Lightweight, plastic optics is the focus for many companies as they look to commercialize VR and AR devices.

The SHOT show proved that defense training will continue to drive demand for optics for VR and offers as much long-term potential as the gaming and entertainment industries. The potential for defense applications is increasing rapidly, especially in the use of special operations. AR and VR applications could provide new advantages when it comes to examining facilities before critical missions.

2. New trends in automotive will require optics partners

rpo-photonicswest2017-escalators.jpgThere has been a lot of buzz around autonomous vehicles and how soon they'll emerge in the market. LIDAR and thermal cameras could have big implications for driver safety, and RPO has invested heavily in the optical materials and manufacturing processes needed to drive out cost at high volume.

Our new catalog, unveiled at Photonics West, includes standard IR optics for prototyping or a jumping-off point for custom IR optics.

3. The medical device market is taking a bigger step into optics

With BiOs as the lead-up to Photonics West, medical device attendance and inquiries are common, but this year brought optics to the forefront in product development. Endoscopes and point-of-care diagnostic equipment, specifically, continue to see advancements that will require high performing optical components and optical assemblies.

High-potential medical startups worked with our engineers to investigate optical designs that will meet their performance demands.  

If you have an optics project that needs the expertise and guidance of our engineering team, consider our Discovery Service.

You can also download our product catalog to get a more in-depth look at our range of capabilities.

Optical Product Catalog | RPO

Topics: Precision Optics, Trends