Of course, no venue (or catering) could hope to compensate if the content of the conference were to be thin or weak. Quite the opposite was true: with a very diverse docket of high-level presentations and sessions, and attendance representing a wide variety of sectors and niches of our community, there was quite a lot of substantial material for everyone. Optis Director Rick Comiskey opened the event with a welcome speech and agenda overview nicely toned to touch on the interests of the diverse audience. This was followed by a presentation by Optis founder, President, and CEO Jacques Delacour, entitled "A Universe of Light". Therein, Delacour gave a vivid description of Optis' origins, development, milestone products, and evolving specialities. One basic crucial takeaway point from this talk: "Because light is everywhere, the market is without any limit!". Delacour talked about the devisement of Solstis, revolutionising the light simulation market by offering photometry with ray-tracing, colorimetry, 3D geometry generation, a fully graphical user interface, and code so efficient that all of this was originally arriving on the old large floppy disks with small capacity.
Delacour talked about Optis' partnership with Dassault Systèmes, Valeo, Astron-Fiamm, Osram, AMD, PTC, Eads, and others. He explained that Optis' sustained R&D investment is what powers the company's continuing list of "firsts"—first with CAD integration, first with visual ergonomics, with physics-based rendering, with full, portable BRDF capture, and so on. Then he linked the milestones of the past and present with the changing needs of the future: as LEDs, OLEDs, and related new light sources continue to supplant filaments and arcs and other old light sources, so the need for simulation grows exponentially—for reasons not necessarily intuitive. LEDs permit (and require) optical systems smaller and more intricate than the imaging optics used for filaments and arcs. Fine for the packaging engineer…but difficult for R&D because smaller systems are harder to prototype, harder to model, and create challenges in colour management. Here, another takeaway quote from Delacour: "Light interacts with matter and this is what you see." More and more, automakers (amongst others) want to control what people see and how they see it, to a degree of precision and detail unimaginable not long ago. The only way to do it is with advanced, physics-based virtual-reality simulation, says Delacour, using tools like Optis make.