Oser Communications Group

Consumer Electronics Daily News Jan 10

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Frid a y, Ja n u a ry 1 0 , 2 0 1 4 C o n su m e r Ele c tro n ic D a ily N e ws PHOTONIC CONTROLS EXPANDING INTO SILICON MICROPHOTONICS An interview with Ron Karfelt, President & CEO, Photonic Controls, LLC. CEDN: Tell us about your company, Photonic Controls LLC. What do you do? RK: Photonic Controls is an engineering design services company, specializing in high-speed embedded systems. Our skill areas include electronic, optical, software, system and mechanical design, with emphasis in opto-electronic hardware and software development, ranging from optical components, integrated modules and subsystems to full system architecture and design. Essentially, we operate as custom product design and development partners. CEDN: What is it that makes Photonic Controls unique? RK: We provide a unique combination of technical skills and design experience to help our customers leverage the benefits of the latest high-speed technologies. By partnering with us, our customers get the benefit of our team's combined expertise and resources at work, as opposed to the skills of one individual. We deliver fully tested and characterized prototypes according to customer specifications. CEDN: Who holds the IP rights? RK: All intellectual property developed under contract is transferred to the customer. We retain no rights. CEDN: What does a project with Photonic Controls look like? RK: Our services involve all levels of interaction, from full turn-key development to a few hours of consulting and everything in between. We partner with our customers to provide design solutions for their latest project requirements, at the level of involvement they need. EMPORIA SIMPLIFIES COMMUNICATIONS Emporia, a world market leader in the manufacture and sale of mobile phones for seniors and the visually impaired, continues to make inroads in a growing market for simplified and affordable communication devices. AT CES, mobile technology is on display in every possible way. Control your TV, manage ten different songs in as many different rooms, start your car, lock your doors, turn out your lights and even watch your favorite movie, all with your phone. That is very impressive. However, what if you simply want to make a phone call? For most of the tech-savvy attendees at the 2014 CES, that is simple. We cherish our smart phones with their customizable screens. We show off our favorite apps like the one with night vision or the one that lets you put facial hair on the pics in your photo album. But there is still a large audience that simply wants to make and receive calls and text messages. They want to be able to hear the person on the other end and they want to be able to push real keys on a key pad and know the phone will dial the number they intended to call. They want a phone that will have enough battery life to work when they really need it. That is the segment of the market to which Emporia is dedicated. The company began specializing in simplified mobile devices targeting the senior market in 2001, an idea that was born when Emporia's founder Albert Fellner gave his mother a mobile phone as a gift – and then spent every weekend afterward teaching her how to use it. Eventually, he THE NEW CYCLE OF MANUFACTURING By Russell Barton, President, BITS Limited After World War II, the United States became a manufacturing powerhouse because much of Europe's manufacturing capacity was destroyed along with that of many other parts of the world. Foreigners loved the new American goods, causing a further expansion of our exports. As the profits of American companies increased, so did the salaries of everyone working for them, leading to an increase of product cost. This caused companies to search for ways to reduce their costs by manufacturing simple goods with cheaper overseas labor. Since the manufacturing sector was expanding faster than the export of jobs overseas, there was no net loss of U.S. jobs and the companies doing it increased their profits. The downside was that it created the new cycle of manufacturing. During the '70s, some U.S. companies started manufacturing cheap AM radios in Japan that were inferior compared to the U.S. manufactured models, but the longer Japan manufactured them, the better they got. We engineered and sold them while the Japanese manufactured and continued improving the manufacturing process. This was a great partnership, except the people manufacturing them wanted to buy them but didn't make enough money to afford them. As a result, the cost of labor started increasing until they could afford them. Despite the increasing labor cost, it was still more cost-effective to move some of the more complicated stuff over to Japan as their manufacturing expertise increased and the first part of the new cycle was born. The second phase of the cycle began CEDN: What product areas do you have design experience with? RK: A very broad market. Our past projects include medical devices, embedded controllers, Bluetooth and WiFi devices, optical computer interfaces, lighting control systems, high power fiber lasers, motor controls, sensors, industrial equipment and more. Our team is comprised of senior designers from a variety of product areas. CEDN: What is your current emphasis? RK: While we regularly design electronics for a variety of markets, in the last year we have been excited to offer design in the field of silicon microphotonics. This new technology leverages the high bandwidth, low-power capability of micro-optics with the high-density, lowcost attributes of silicon chips. Our staff includes pioneers in this field who maintain active involvement in the advancement of this technology. CEDN: Where are you located? How long have you been around? realized that the problem was the phone, not his mother; it had so many extraneous functions and features that it was virtually impossible to use for its key purpose: making a phone call. For many first-time mobile phone users, from kids to seniors, simple and intuitive is better. Emporia's Research & Development team works in close collaboration with product testers and advisors from the University of Cambridge in the development of phones that are perfectly attuned to the needs of their audience. "Our passion is making mobile communications simple and affordable for everyone," says Greg Foley, President and CEO of Emporia USA. "As we look at the market, we see a need for simple, easy-touse communications devices. Our focus groups indicate many seniors and their caregivers prefer simple, talk-focused phones. Industry research also shows many parents want to connect with and protect their kids with affordable mobile devices while ensurwhen foreign manufacturers had learned to make product improvements as well as manufacturing improvements, leading to the engineering of new products also moving overseas. The Japanese manufacturers now had higher profits than the companies that were selling these goods in the United States. The third phase of the cycle occurred when these foreign manufacturers decided to further increase their profits by directly marketing their improved products against the companies that contracted them to manufacture these goods. Now, the Japanese manufacturers were growing while their U.S. counterparts were shrinking. The fourth phase was when the Japanese companies purchased and closed their U.S. counterparts, leaving only the Japanese companies to sell the products. They became the name brand, and companies like Sony were born. At this point, it was too expensive for U.S. companies to use Japan for sub-contract 31 RK: Photonic Controls is ideally located in New York's southern tier, in close proximity to Corning, Cornell and the Rochester Photonic Cluster. We're in a vital area of photonic and optic technology and growth, with a wealth of experienced resources at our fingertips. Our facility includes a state-of-the-art, fully equipped lab with complete testing and low-volume manufacturing resources. We've been there for almost twelve years now, and have delivered over 160 product designs. CEDN: How can people learn more about your company? RK: The easiest way is to visit us in South Hall 4, booth 35169, sometime this week and speak with us directly. Our team is always ready for a new challenge, so we are delighted to answer questions and discuss how we can be of service to your project needs. Visit Photonic Controls in South Hall 4 at booth 35169. For more information, call 607-562-4700, email info@ photoniccontrols.com or visit www .photoniccontrols.com. ing their kids are not distracted by mobile apps or downloadable content. Emporia simplifies communications by providing high-quality mobile products that are easy to use for multiple generations of the family, from kids to seniors. Our devices are intuitive to use, focused on essential communications. Every Emporia phone features large, easy-to-use buttons, an extra-loud speakerphone and a simple interface to find what is needed most. All our phones are as smart as needed, as simple as possible. This message is resonating with many carriers throughout the world. Emporia is a leading mobile device manufacturer focused on simplified communication devices. These devices are available in more than 30 countries, including the U.S., and sold through leading carriers and retailers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.emporiatelecom.com, call 201-962-5550 or email foley@emporiatelecom.com. manufacturing, so they started manufacturing in different foreign countries like South Korea which started phase one all over again, except they now have another country as a competitor. These cycles have continued until almost everything is manufactured overseas. Many countries are competing against each other, with their competition creating giant leaps in technology. With almost nothing being manufactured in the United States, our country has lost some of its engineering and manufacturing talent and infrastructure. While the task may seem to be overwhelming for many companies, the young entrepreneurs of today are determined to bring jobs back to the United States. It is these small startups that will create the advances needed. Visit BITS Limited at booth 35353. For more information, visit www .bitsltd.net, call 631-896-9855 or email russell.barton@me.com.

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