SPIE Optics + Photonics (O+P) is coming up in San Diego, California, the week of August 6. The optics industry changes quickly, and O+P is a prime place to catch up on the latest developments across the field, with an even mix of technological innovations and applications.
This year the conference is emphasizing the emerging fields of quantum devices, bioelectronics, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), solar fuels, and autonomous vehicles. These fields all interest Ross because of their mutual reliance on micro optics, aspheres, and related components.
Perhaps more than anything, though, O+P is about people. Large conferences like O+P attract a global audience, so they are great places to meet both old colleagues and new acquaintances. Southern California is also the home to several optics and photonics companies, so I actually spend quite a bit of time away from the conference visiting local people at their own facilities.
Speaking of outside the convention center...in the rush of the trade show, it’s easy to overlook San Diego itself—but don't forget to take some time to watch a Pacific sunset. I usually stay in Oceanside, north of the city. From the practical side, Oceanside is situated between Irvine and San Diego, so it works as a base for both cities. Being at Oceanside also lets me take advantage of the shore and pier there. It’s very nice and peaceful strolling out on the pier at night enjoying the ocean air and watching the people enjoying it as well. After the crowd goes away, there are always a lot of people fishing off the pier and always looking to strike up a conversation.
If you’re going to be at O+P, feel free to look me up or—better yet—contact me before the conference to schedule a face-to-face meeting.