Our original Super Cool Optics Startups list’s popularity prompted an update to include six more we wanted to share with you.
Their stretchable smart fabrics deliver optically based accurate motion capture and pressure sensing at the speed of light with practical uses in VR/AR wearables, health and fitness wearables, as well as sensor networks for robots that sense in a “more human way”.
Quartet is their miniature fluorescence microscope and data collection software package optimized for neuronal calcium imaging. Thin, cylindrical, graded-refractive-index lenses (GRIN) get implanted with focus adjustable fiber-lens connector in any region of the brain and spinal cord. The imaging bundle connects to the implanted GRIN lens to transmit the fluorescence signal from neurons to the CMOS sensor. The design of the connector is such that even when the fiber probe is disconnected the initially set focus remains the same. This ensures the same plane of neurons is imaged as days go by.
The REYEDR offers a safer motorcycle ride by presenting useful ride data at eye level. It is a holographic Heads-Up Display that attaches to a motorcycle helmet showing speed, navigation, distance, and caller id. The device uses the latest in holographic technology to display a virtual image at infinite focus. Along with the REYEDR smartphone App, key information is delivered about the bike, route and ride group.
Cameras that see in all directions simultaneously. Bounce imaging’s technology allows different users to look right and left and scroll back in time and replay video they missed from that perspective. The cameras maintain vertical and horizontal video stability regardless of what happens to the camera after deployment. Many ways to connect as well: camera-generated WiFi network, long-range extenders, and video cloud-sharing.
LighTopTech’s technology GDOCM 4D™ noninvasive imaging technology produces two- and three-dimensional images of organic tissue, polymers and glass. This allows the rapid imaging of subcellular structures beneath the surface of the skin or within the human eye. In manufacturing, material imaging captures details inside materials for better quality and yield. The proprietary bioinspired microscope design with liquid lens technology. dynamically refocuses at different depths inside the sample to obtain high-resolution three-dimensional images of materials.
Double Helix Optics
3D nano-scale imaging and particle tracking has many revolutionary applications in life and material sciences. The SPINDLE® add-on module integrates with an optical instrument such as a microscope while providing a bypass option without having to dismantle. A library of engineered phase masks can be used to optimize for depth, emission wavelength, and signal-to-noise ratio. 3DTRAX™ software locates single molecules in axial and lateral dimensions
3D printing is redefining design and manufacturing but has so far had a limited consumer reach due to a hefty price tag. The innovators at Formlabs want to change all that. Form 1 is a 3D desktop printer that uses a laser found in Blu-Ray players to sculpt material. This MIT spin-off crushed its Kickstarter campaign goals – raising nearly $3 million on a goal of $100k – for personal 3D printers.
Lytro began with a question that inventor Ren Ng asked himself when he was taking pictures one day: Do cameras have to focus before a good image is captured? It is the kind of question that most people would’ve simply cast aside as trivial. (“Of course it has to focus! Duh!”) Dr. Ng thought differently and founded Lytro to allow focusing of camera images post-capture. Toy around with the selective zooming feature of Lytro and watch the images come to life! Also, see Raytrix, their competitor across the Atlantic.
Since the introduction of the Xbox Kinect, gesture-oriented technology has been changing the way humans interface with the digital world making it more intuitive. The hottest new start-up in the gesture area is is Leap Motion. See their controller in action.
Check out Squito, a multi-camera, accelerometer-rich ball from Serveball, for “in-flight reconnaissance and recreational photography.” Other optical innovations from Serveball’s parent company include Kayalu, a rugged kayak lighting system.
Named as one of the best inventions of 2012 by TIME magazine, “a ball with a mission.” Engineered to scope out its surroundings once thrown into unknown environments, Bounce is a plastic ball with internal cameras to aid individuals who risk life and limb in dangerous territories at home and abroad. [VIDEO]
A device fitted with LEDs that delivers light at 455 nm to prevent onset of periodontal disease may well be poised to become a household item in the coming years. PhotOral harnesses the power of blue light to selectively kill pathogenic bacteria. In this video, co-inventor Dr. Soukos gives us the skinny on this exciting new product.
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