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Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

JDSU Wins The Optical Society’s ‘Enabled by Optics’ Contest for its 3-D Sensing Technology

OSA campaign highlights industry inventions and student-made videos to raise awareness of the role optics and photonics play in advancing innovation and improving our world
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2014—The Optical Society (OSA) today announced the winners of its second Enabled by Optics  contest.  The contest, which is comprised of two tracks—one for companies and one for students—seeks to raise public awareness of the importance of optics and photonics technologies in furthering innovation and positively impacting society. 
Winners are:
Company Submissions
JDSU of Milpitas, California, USA, was named the winner for its innovative laser light source used in 3-D sensing technologies. This optical solution enables a natural user interface with devices by incorporating gestures and subtle activities such as facial expression and heart rate into applications like gaming, where gestures can replace physical controllers. 3-D sensing technology in general offers great promise for applications in many sectors, including retail, security, manufacturing, biomedicine, smart homes, transportation and more.

Student Submissions
Gustavo Almeida and a team of students at the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, tied for first place in the student contest for their video “Colors.” The video describes how colors are produced on electronic displays by explaining the red, green, blue (RGB) additive method.
Ethan Bratton, a student at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas, USA was also named a first place winner in the student contest for his video “What Happens When We Watch a Movie, or Play a Game?” The video explains how a movie or game is stored on a disc and how a DVD player or game system reads the data on a disc using lasers.
“While the technical community understands the importance of optics, much of the general public is not familiar with what’s powering their high-tech lives,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “The Enabled by Optics program gives us the chance to highlight innovations while clarifying the science on which the products are based.  OSA helps connect the excitement of optics and photonics to the non-scientific community through these efforts.”
Addressing the topic of “What’s optics got to do with it?” companies submitted a white paper that highlighted how their optics-driven technology affects everyday life. Student entrants each created a video that demonstrated how optics is a crucial component within a commonly used product. Entries were judged by a panel of experts, including members of OSA’s Corporate Associates Committee, researchers and businesspersons working in the optics industry.  
“Interest in 3-D sensing continues to grow and expand into new areas, simplifying the way people interact with technology,” said Andre Wong, director of Product Line Management at JDSU. “JDSU is honored to accept the Enabled by Optics award and supports OSA’s efforts to advance both the optics and photonics industries worldwide.”

As the contest winner, JDSU is being featured in a campaign about 3-D sensing technology, along with an OSA-produced video showcasing JDSU’s innovative laser light source, which has enabled mass deployment of 3-D sensing cameras. Both student winners will receive a cash prize of $500 USD. All of the winners will be recognized at OSA’s Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics, taking place Oct. 19-23 in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Photonics Media, the campaign’s media sponsor, will provide ongoing support and comprehensive worldwide coverage of the winning technologies.  OSA’s Enabled by Optics contest provides the foundation for a future online library accessible to policy makers, educators, consumers and students. This resource will be used to further educate new audiences about the far-reaching impact of optics on everyday life.  
EDITOR’S NOTE: A video, infographic, Top 10 list and in-depth backgrounder on 3-D sensing are available to members of the media upon request. Contact Nadine Tosk at

About OSA 
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. OSA is a founding partner of the National Photonics Initiative and the 2015 International Year of Light. For more information, visit