Throughout history, light has been a symbol of knowledge. Technology and innovation are dependent upon our ability to see. As we improved our optical systems our ability to know the world around us improved. Magnifying glasses gave way to eyeglasses, telescopes, microscopes and cameras. The telescope improved our ability to navigate the seas and the microscope improved our ability to see the tiny world around us and inside of us. The history of the modern world stands on the shoulders of giants whose work with optics led to remarkable advancements in other fields. The great philosopher Baruch Spinoza was a famous lens grinder, Michael Faraday as a young man worked in a lens making factory, and Isaac Newton’s early experiments in optics began a body of work that left us with Calculus.
Manufacturing today has become very advanced, and we’ve largely mastered the craft of making excellent lenses. Today’s optics are advanced by software and new form factors that are reducing the cost of expensive optical equipment. High resolution digital cameras are a part of our everyday lives. People take high quality photographs and videos with their smartphones. Cinema continues to push the boundaries of high quality digital cinematography.
In this panel, moderated by Erek Tinker, we are going to hear from the below speakers who have worked in film and technology, bringing a breadth of knowledge to how we are using optics today.
Lou Auguste (@TeamLiveLonger)
Lou Auguste was born in Queens, NY. A recovering film maker, Lou has been developing mobile apps since 2012. His company AlexaPath is based in Brooklyn, NY. Together with co-founder Dhaval Palsana, Auguste has developed a technique called mobile Whole Slide Imaging or mWSI. mWSI is smart phone medical slide imaging. Their solution is part hardware and part software, allowing the user to turn any standard light microscope into a powerful digital imaging device. AlexaPath is currently working with the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (AMHE) to create screening programs for cervical cancer in Haiti. Check out their indiegogo campaign to learn more.
Hugh McGrory (@mcgrory)
Chief Executive Officer, Datavized. Hugh McGrory brings expertise in film production, art and technology to the world of immersive media. He was a Partner at Culture Shock, consulting for clients including The National Film Board of Canada. Previously, Hugh co-founded the Belfast-based studio Make.ie with an Ars Electronica-winning generative animation coder, taught filmmaking at the Queen’s University of Belfast, Film Acting at The National Theater School of Ireland, was Exec Producer for NIS/UK Film Council Digital Shorts, and completed a Nanoimaging Residency with the CINEMA Microscopy Lab at Yale University.
James George (@obviousjim)
James George is CEO of DepthKit and an artist applying computational photography towards portraiture and storytelling. Through installations and films he addresses the emotional response to science fiction technologies as they become reality. James developed the DepthKit, a software tool for creating volumetric cinema using depth sensors. He used this new format to create CLOUDS, an interactive documentary in virtual reality on code and creativity, which won Tribeca Storyscapes’ Transmedia Award in 2014.
Erek Tinker (@erektinker)
Erek is the founder of Pax Solaria and an avid community organizer with an interest in the human side of the future.
A serial entrepreneur, Erek was a partner at The Spry Group - a technology development agency focused on business solutions for businesses in sustainability, research and corporate support. He previously Co-founded Distributed Enlightenment, a pre-YouTube web video content platform focused on technology and politics.
For the past year, he has been hosting Pax Solaria panels with topics ranging from optics, VR & AR technologies to the future of data-driven storytelling, rapid prototyping and building partnerships with local and international futurism communities.
He is interested in the technical, business and cultural implications of new technologies. Having also thrown live music and dance events. He loves bringing together diverse views on interesting topics to stimulate engaging conversations.