Our photonic sensors​

Business Insights

Applied Research

We team up with industrial partners and research institutions to explore cutting edge optical and ML technologies that will change the way physical matter is being analyzed.

Joint Ventures

As soon as we encounter promising applicatons with our partners, we encourage joint ventures instead of remaining at the consulting or research level. Our latest joint venture Spectrify AI targets argricultural domains in Asia.

Due Diligence

We also work with public and private partners who need support in evaluating whether a tech-intense solution is as good as marketed. And we don't shy away of suggesting viable alternatives.

Three Areas of Competence

Optical Sensors

Optical sensors are powerful analytic tools as they are capable of providing analyte information quickly and remotely. Their basic mechanism is that photonic molecules interact with the target analytes under study and provide information about parameters such as the structure of the analytes. When the analytes molecules enter the system, the sensors produce detectable changes in their signals – which are then transduced into easily measured and quantified optical signals. Compared to other types of sensors such as electrochemical ones, optical sensors are particularly useful for non-invasive detection, which is critical for certain use cases. It is these use cases that we approach together with our customers and research partners.

Machine Learning

Surely you already have an idea of this technological approach, which is shaping our time like no other. And if not, let us recap: Machine learning (ML) is the idea that generalized algorithms can tell you something important about a collection of data without having to write any particular custom code to the problem. Instead of writing code, you feed the generic algorithm with data, and it constructs its own data-based logic. Our approach is to use the latest ML techniques and associated know-how to efficiently evaluate information that we obtain using optical sensors. Our ML, which is developed in the latest relevant programming languages, goes far beyond conventional applications. It distinguishes highly difficult signals and assigns them to correspondingly difficult patterns. This level of definition is the critical added value for our clients and partners.

Actionable Coupling

Of course, the two areas must not stand unconnected next to each other. In order to create really useful solutions for real use cases, an integration of hardware (optical sensors) and software (ML) must be achieved. It involves the integration of specific hardware devices including design and manufacturing of all supporting systems for the optical sensing device. This is coupled with integration with edge computational devices where the the ML algorithms are are invoked to provide immediate classification of the sensor output. Sensor systems are integrated with fixed and mobile communication systems utilising combinations depending on need of of Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy Wi-Fi , 3g, 4g, 5gn NbIoT and LoRA. It is precisely these intermediate areas that decide whether applications remain in the laboratory or make the leap into practice.

Product Development - Status Quo

Hardware Product "Sonthi 1.0"
Approaching TRL 7
Optical Sensor Platform on the Edge
Approchaing TRL 5
Organizational Development
We are still learning every day

Our Partners

Core Team


Mike Richardson

founder & managing director

 Mike is the Founder and Managing Director of Photonic Insights. Previously, he has designed novel IoT devices for materials analysis utilizing Photonic technology as part of Fraunhofer IZM’s Start-A-Factory program. Besides, Mike provides R&D strategy support to C level decision makers in Europe, USA and Asia. Where his obligations as a an entrepreneur and consultant permit, Mike actively mentors startups via hackathons and similar formats.

André Sprenger

chief data scientist

André is the Co-founder of Photonic Insights. Being a world class expert on AI and ML, his core tech knowledge is ML, data engineering and realtime processing. Most of the time André works with Scala, Python, TensorFlow, Keras, Spark, Flink, Kafka and Cassandra. Previous to Photonic Insights, André worked in programmatic advertising, real time bidding, FX trading and e-commerce. He is the architect of all systems at Photonic Insights.


Daniel Heltzel


 Daniel is the Managing Director of Prototypes for Europe where he has supported multiple startups on the path to success. In addition he is a public policy expert, driving multiple initiative to support global startups working with deep technology. An example is his voting membership in INAM (Innovation Network for Advanced Materials). As an advisor to Photonic Insights Daniel provides guidance for Funding, Scaling and Business Process.



Photonic Insights UG

Beuckestraße 15

D-14163 Berlin




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