How it works

  • Constructive interference of laser light brings your image to life

    Constructive Interference

    Space is like a three-dimensional pond surface

    If you have ever looked at a pond, you may have noticed little waves on the surface. Light waves are electromagnetic waves, which means that instead of moving molecules of water around on a pond surface, they actually distort the electromagnetic field of space itself. And rather than being confined to a surface of a pond, light waves can travel in three-dimensions. Light waves are amazing!


    All the photons are one wavelength

    The smallest measurable unit of light (a single photon) is created when an electron (the little charged guy orbiting the nucleus of an atom) hops down in energy. In a laser, a light photon can trigger an adjacent electron to release a photon in a chain reaction called stimulated emission (the SE LASER). As a result of all the complicated physics going on in a laser, all the photons of light emitted by a laser are nearly the same color. Unlike most things we see in our day-to-day lives that reflect sunlight of all colors to varying degrees, a laser emits just one wavelength of light. That's why lasers have such a futuristic appearance that's unlike anything you see in normal sunlight.

    Laser safety


    Lasers are spatially coherent light sources. That means that they shine in one direction, so they can be bright even if you're far away from them. Your eyes have evolved to focus light to enable you to see. However, this also means that a laser beam can actually be focused by your eye to a small spot on your retina, and permanently damage your eye. Furthermore, sudden exposure can cause temporarily surprise and blindness that can be dangerous if driving a car or operating heavy machinery. However, there are some basic physics principles that can help us stay safe:
    1) The power of a laser increases its danger level because it will take less time to cause damage to the retina. Therefore, we recommend: use a low-power laser (Class II or less).

    2) Do not stare at any direct reflections, so don't shine a laser at a mirror, shiny metal, or other optically reflective surface. Project images onto diffuse specular surfaces such as a white painted wall.


    3) Do not intentionally stare at a laser beam. If something is uncomfortable, look away.


    4) For more information about laser safety, see:

    Controlling interference

    A Mem-Gem™ uses a specially patterned laboratory-grown sapphire to control the optical interference of light

    Since we know that light is a wave, and lasers have just a single wavelength, we can use physics to control how that light will interfere. We use software to turn your image into a special pattern called a phase-mask that controls light. By perfectly tuning the surface of your laboratory-grown sapphire Mem-Gem™ so that some areas create destructive interference and other areas create constructive interference, and repeating this process millions of times, we can build up a diffractive optical element that will project an image under laser light illumination. Each pixel in the Mem-Gem™ represents one Fourier mode of the resulting image projection, and that's why your image is hidden in sunlight. Similar to how musicians in a symphony orchestra create sound waves to celebrate music, we believe that Mem-Gems™ use light waves to celebrate the memory that you wish to treasure!

  • Images

    MEM-GEMS™ are compatible with any image.

    Photographs (couple)


    Images are transformed into a phase-mask (looks nothing like an image), that will be etched into your laboratory-grown sapphire Mem-Gem™

    Once you submit your image, we will simulate the Fourier projection for you. One example simulated projection is shown above.

    Photograph (baby)


    Compatible with corporate logos, comic book symbols, or any custom designs.

    Photograph (Pets)

  • Details

    How to integrate Mem-Gems™ into any jewelry

    T-GEM™ Schematic

    ​The laser passes through the T-GEM™ to form an image on a wall

    The T-GEM™ is perfect for pendants, or customized rings.

    R-GEM™ Schematic

    The laser bounces off the R-GEM™ to form an image on a wall

    The R-GEM™ is perfect for rings.

  • Dimensions

    Below are the standard Mem-Gem sizes. Custom sizing is available.

    T-GEM™ Dimensions

    The passes through the T-GEM™ to form an image on a wall

    The T-GEM™ is round. The etched phase mask is 2mm diameter, to match the beam diameter of a typical laser-pointer. The T-GEM™ is cut to 4.0mm diameter, and has a thickness of 0.43 mm. The T-GEM™ will project an image no matter which way the light shines through.

    R-GEM™ Mechanical Dimensions

    The laser bounces off the R-GEM™ to form an image on a wall

    The R-GEM™ is elliptical, and designed for a laser to bounce-off at a shallow-angle of 30 degrees. The R-GEM™ is 2.5 mm wide and x 4.5 mm long, with a thickness of 0.43 mm. There is a metal coating on the etched side of the R-GEM™. Laser light is designed to pass through the laboratory-grown sapphire, bounce off the metal, and pass back through the laboratory-grown sapphire before leaving to form an image.