Digital technologies are transforming our society and its traditional industrial base at an exponential rate. This new digital industrial revolution—known as Industry 4.0 since it represents the fourth wave of paradigm shifts in industrialization—holds the promise of increased flexibility in manufacturing, mass customization, increased speed, better quality and improved productivity.
The Internet of Things opens unprecedented access to consumer data and allows for the visual environment to be tailored to the end-user. Moreover, freeform optics, i.e. optical components lacking translational or rotational symmetry, are the next revolution in photonics. These advanced optical components can deliver customized luminance distributions with superior performance compared to (a)spherical counterparts. At the same time, arrays of Solid State Light sources (SSL) as leds have become widespread—ranging from indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, to lighting for transport: vehicle & public lighting and lighting for aviation and railways—while the next generation of laser leds are making their entry.
From the lighting group, our added value is two-fold, on the one hand we identify the characteristics of the preferred light source, while on the other hand, we specify the metrics that determine the shape of the light beam and the resulting illuminated area. This research topic is timely, and the transition to smart public lighting with variable optics will be a disruptive transition.