Research lab shows off tech advances -

Research lab shows off tech advances


ANTWERP – Once a year the Imec research lab opens the doors to its diverse labs and invites guests for a tech show and tell. A sampler below from this year’s event, renamed Future Summits, includes a look inside the new Microsoft HoloLens and a novel quantum computer, an update on brain science and more.

You never know who you may bump into in the halls of this event. I turned around at a coffee stand and saw Jelle De Smet (right), an optics researcher I first met here in 2013.

At that time he was a PhD student with ideas for an active optical lens. Two years later, he was well along on an Imec research project that aimed to pair a flexible lens with a distance sensor to determine when and how to tune the optics.

This year de Smet was three years into a startup, Morrow Optics, using a version of his liquid crystal lens embedded in sunglasses. Push a button and the “lens-in-foil” embedded in a traditional lens morphs into a standard 1x reading lens.

The product in going through user tests now with hopes to hit retail shelves befre long. A 2x version of the active lens is in develpment. On the way to the market the complex electronics he once envisioned for an iris replacement have been simplified to a battery and controller chip in the arm of the glasses.

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