Optical Sensors and Sensing Congress

19 July 2021 – 23 July 2021
Optica Virtual Event - Pacific Daylight/Summer Time (UTC - 07:00)

The 2022 Innovation Challenge

Smart Cities Application for the Optical Sensors and Sensing Congress

Submission Deadline*
02 May 2022 17:00 EDT (UTC-04:00)

Smart cities bring together infrastructure and technology. By incorporating technology into the urban environment, the performance and interactions of services such as energy, transportation, communications, and utilities are better integrated and more effectively used.  As a result, the quality of life of citizens is improved.  Optics and Photonics has a critical role to play in smart cities! 

Optics and photonics is already broadly proliferated in the cities to provide functions ranging from simple infrared elevator safety switches to complex optical networks providing efficient communication backbone. In this Innovation Challenge, you can envision new areas where light and technological innovations in optics and photonics can become an enabling technology in smart cities.

Think outside of the box and propose unique optical sensing solutions to important problems that will enable truly smart cities of the future with smart ecosystem of technology, communication, services and thriving citizens. The innovative solutions can be focused on new optical sensor ideas, novel applications of existing optical sensing technologies (such as LIDAR, distributed optical fiber sensing or integrated photonics sensors), innovative infrastructure employing optical sensors (e.g., LiFi), advanced optical sensor signal processing or any other innovations leveraging optical and photonic sensing solutions.

Help define the future of optical sensing in smart cities and everyday life! 

Submissions must:

  • Identify a technical, social or economic problem that currently exists in smart cities that can be solved by or in part by an optical imaging solution.
  • Identify the steps needed to implement the solution.
  • Identify the clear differentiators that sets your solution apart from others (why this solution vs others).

Judging Criteria:

  • Compliance: is the idea submission complete and does it comply with the rules of the challenge?
  • Novelty: does the idea describe a novel approach to providing a solution?
  • Originality: how original is the proposed technology or use of existing technology?
  • Relevance: How well does the idea relate to the topic and provide a solution aligned with the goals of this challenge?
  • Feasibility: how likely can the idea be prototyped?

What is the Innovation Challenge?

This program seeks to explore trends, opportunities, disruptions and major shifts potentially enabled by optics and photonics. Challenge submissions should highlight innovative solutions to topic specific challenges.

Who Can Participate?

Open to students and their advisors and early-career professionals. Optica defines early-career professionals as those within five years of leaving academic study and starting a full-time career.

Submission Details

Individuals or teams are invited to submit concepts based on the unique challenge in the form of a 50- to 100‐word description and accompanying visuals. Highly-recommended supplements include a  3-minute video presentation (provided via YouTube link) and a summary slide. Additional materials can include additional videos, pictures, charts, graphs, system mock-ups or demos highlighting the novelty, originality and feasibility of the concept.

Submissions are evaluated by a committee of congress leadership with up to four finalists, two students and two early-career professionals. Finalists are selected to attend the meeting and present a 3‐minute synopsis of their concept during a general session. They also host a visual demonstration during a conference poster session. One representative from each of the four finalists will receive a travel stipend to cover airfare, hotel and registration.

Winners Receive...

Two winners, one student and one early-career professional, are chosen based on popular vote and announced on‐site at the end of the congress. Winners receive a 3-year Optica Membership.

For questions, please contact cstech@optica.org

*Submission form will be available in Fall 2021*