Optics on the Go

Edited by Svetlana V. Boriskina

Wearable optical technologies are emerging to keep users safe, powered-up and entertained.

figureWristwatch-style health trackers are just one area where optics and photonics are expanding the horizons of wearable tech. [Getty Images]

People like to take their essentials along wherever they go—and that list of essentials increasingly includes optical technologies. The trend, which started years ago with glasses and sunglasses, has accelerated as optical devices have become more and more miniaturized. Personal electronic devices, including smart watches, mobile phones and tablet computers, fuel consumer demand for lighter, brighter and more flexible optical displays. Fitness enthusiasts rely on optical sensors to monitor heart rates and optimize workout schedules. And active optical sensors, which can noninvasively track multiple vital signs in real time, are fast becoming indispensable for personalized medicine as well.

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