Compact beam steering to 'revolutionize' AR, autonomous navigation: Page 3 of 3

March 23, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Compact beam steering to 'revolutionize' AR, autonomous navigation
Engineers at Columbia University (New York City, NY) say they have developed a low-power beam steering platform that offers a non-mechanical, robust, and scalable approach to beam steering that promises to have applications in a broad range of areas including autonomous navigation, augmented reality (AR), and neuroscience.
meant that they could easily do this for red and green, which have longer wavelengths.

"This wavelength range enables us to address new applications such as optogenetic neural stimulation," says Aseema Mohanty, a postdoctoral research scientist and co-lead author of papers published in the Optics Letter and Nature Biomedical Engineering . "We used the same chip-scale technology to control an array of micron-scale beams to precisely probe neurons within the brain."

The researchers say they are now collaborating with other researchers in the Applied Physics group to optimize the electrical power consumption because low-power operation is crucial for lightweight head-mounted AR displays and optogenetics.

"We are very excited because we've basically designed a reconfigurable lens on a tiny chip on which we can steer the visible beam and change focus," says Lipson. "We have an aperture where we can synthesize any visible pattern we want every few tens of microseconds. This requires no moving parts and could be achieved at chip-scale. Our new approach means that we'll be able to revolutionize augmented reality, optogenetics and many more technologies of the future.”

For more see " Large-scale optical phased array using a low-power multi-pass silicon photonic platform ", " Reconfigurable nanophotonic silicon probes for sub-millisecond deep-brain optical stimulation ", and " Chip-scale blue light phased array ."

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