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LOBO’s Interactive Laser Show


LOBO electronic recently premiered its first interactive laser show at Germany’s Holiday Park. LOBO’s Alex Hennig said the show worked better than expected, with thousands of audience members eagerly responding to the commands of a laser-projected girl.

The show, performed this summer in the theme park’s Aqua Stadium, featured a floating water screen, four laser systems, and 18 fog generators. The laser-projected girl gave the audience instructions (such as waving hands, clapping, and singing along to the music). “Surprisingly, the audience really followed even the most demanding actions and this concept really had a booster effect,” said Hennig. To add more excitement, the audience was given small battery-powered fiber lamps that turned the audience area into a sea of moving lights.

Source : The Laserist

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World’s largest laser fires up for attempt to build new star on Earth

SCIENTISTS are using the world’s largest laser in an attempt to build a star on Earth.

The laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is roughly the size of three American football fields, and those in charge of it aren’t joking when they say they’ll create a tiny sun in the next few months.

It’s called the National Ignition Facility and it’s all about finding the holy grail of energy production – nuclear fusion – a high-energy reaction that would theoretically provide limitless energy for humanity.

In a nutshell, the laboratory hopes to split its laser beam up into 192 beams, then fire them at a tiny target wrapped in gold that’s smaller than a fingernail.

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A Short History of Laser Light Shows

Patricia Daukantas

For almost as long as visible-wavelength lasers have existed, artists have been inspired by their potential to create stunning visual displays.

As the clock ticked toward the end of the first half of Super Bowl XLIV, two teams huddled on the sidelines, waiting for the signal. Each had a single objective and a tight timeframe for achieving their goal.

But they weren’t looking to score a touchdown. Rather, these teams were the special-effects technicians for the halftime show. They had nine minutes to ensure that 16 powerful lasers were hooked up and safely aligned to a 40-section platform in preparation for a laser show to accompany the performance of the rock group the Who.

More than 100 million people watched the Feb. 7, 2010, performance on television, making it one of the most-viewed laser shows ever. The special effects teams set up two “laser compounds,” one at each 35-yard line on the New Orleans Saints’ side of the gridiron. Each compound had two 50-W Nd:YAG pulsed lasers, cooled with a recirculating-water chiller, plus two air-cooled, full-spectrum units: a 25-W optically pumped semiconductor (OPS) laser and a 13-W diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) RGB laser.

Laser shows have always held a universal appeal. People from all over the world have enjoyed them at planetariums, concerts, corporate meetings and other venues. In the United States, outdoor laser displays dance across the faces of the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington and Stone Mountain in Georgia. They illuminate the pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the night sky above the Hong Kong business district. Coherent beams of color formed pictures of Olympic athletes against the side of the Sydney Opera House in 2000, and, at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, 20 lasers were used in a nightly light show in which people from around the world controlled the beams through public Internet access.

How laser shows work

The stunning visual effects of laser shows rely on some of the simplest optical equipment and principles: moving mirrors and the effect known as persistence of vision—which refers to the afterimage that persists when a point of light moves faster than the eye can react to it. The afterimage lasts for roughly 1/25 of a second.

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True story: the making of the Terminator’s laser-sighted .45 pistol

One of the most striking images from The Terminator was the weapon he carried and used in his first attempt on Sarah Connor’s life: the .45 Longslide, with laser sighting. Who can forget the scene in the gun shop? The gun was likewise such a striking presence on screen it was used on the film’s poster. There are T-shirts dedicated to the gun.

Terminator was released in 1984, and while laser sights on weapons are common now, when the film was first shown the red laser was able to communicate something subtle and powerful to the audience: this is a machine, deadly accurate and futuristic. It made the Terminator seem other-worldly and terrifying. At a party during CES, Deputy Editor Jon Stokes and I bumped into some representatives from SureFire, a company that specializes in tactical flashlights. We talked about some of our favorite moments with technology in cinema, and The Terminator came up.

“We created that laser!” I was told. They told me the gentleman who built the prop was named Ed Reynolds, and he was still with the company. More than a little jazzed about bumping into a fun part of film history, we knew we had to get the full story behind the Terminator’s gun.

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LETI announces integration milestone

A European project unveils a fully CMOS-compatible laser source coupled to a silicon waveguide.

A team of researchers from across Europe will present details of a fully CMOS-compatible laser source that is coupled to a silicon waveguide this week. The achievement is a major milestone in a three-year €3.2m project known as WADIMOS (Wavelength Division Multiplexed Photonic Layer on CMOS). The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate a photonic interconnect layer on CMOS.

WADIMOS, an EU-funded research project, started in January 2008 and has six project partners. It is co-ordinated by IMEC of Belgium and also involves STMicroelectronics, MAPPER Lithography, Lyon Institute of Nanotechnologies (INL) and the University of Trento.

Working with a circuit design from INL and IMEC, LETI completed the specific process studies for the laser source by adapting and modifying standard III-V materials process steps to comply with a CMOS environment. Specifically, LETI replaced gold-based metal contacts with a Ti/TiN/AlCu metal stack. The circuits were processed on 200 mm wafers at LETI’s facilities.

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HDI 3D Laser TV

The small California start-up we wrote about last year is in the news again as more details about HDI’s laser-powered 3D TV are released.  HDI-US Inc. already has orders for its prototype 103-inch 3D HDTV and is now actively marketing itself as a television manufacturer and not just a 3D solutions licensor.  HDI’s platform is a laser-based projection system blended with proprietary optics and LCoS.  Glasses are needed for viewing in 3D, but reportedly the glasses are passively designed to provide less eye strain than the active-shutter models already in the market.

HDI is marketing heavily on the unique immersive qualities of large HDTV displays and 3D technology.  Steve Wozniak has praised the company and HDI’s future home models may incorporate such unique features as a 2D-to-3D processor, integrated soundbar and a personal 3D camcorder, all for less than $15,000.  Models can be purchased now for around $100,000 if you simply cannot wait until production begins in 2011 (tell them laser-tv.org sent you).

“We’ve witnessed 3D from a variety of sources, be it in a RealD theater, NVIDIA’s active-shutter 3D Vision gaming or Sony’s own active solution. Without a doubt, HDI’s 3D HDTV was the best in-home 3D product that we’ve had the pleasure of viewing.”

Engadget

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UVA: Speed of Light opens

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been following the production of Speed of Light, an ambitious laser light installation by United Visual Artists for Virgin Media. The show is now open and it doesn’t disappoint

UVA were commissioned by Virgin Media to create ‘an immersive light installation celebrating 10 years of broadband in the UK’. It comprises a series of laser-based experimental light works which flow through the labyrinthine spaces of the Bargehouse, the four-storey ex-warehouse on London’s South Bank.

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UVA “Speed of Light” Exhibition Recap

United Visual Artists (UVA) was commissioned by Virgin Media to create an immersive light installation on London’s South Bank, to mark the tenth anniversary of broadband in the UK. “Speed of Light” is a series of installations that explore the themes of communication and modernity. Stripped back to its materials, fiber-optic is a thin strand of glass, with nothing more than a flickering beam of light. UVA have used this beam as the starting point for their work. The installations dramatize the experience of using fiber-optic communication, re-imagining it as an immersive environment. The installation officially opened a few days back, with images being made available, courtesy of Creative Review.

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New Laser Zaps Mosquitoes in Slow-Motion Video


A new laser system can kill mosquitoes without harming other insects, as shown in slow-motion video. It’s all part of the effort to combat malaria.

© 2010 National Geographic; video courtesy Intellectual Ventures

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Unedited Transcript:

Scientists have developed a hand-held laser that can kill mosquitoes in high volume. And they’re hoping that this will help combat one of the world’s most deadly diseases.  A high-speed video camera that captures up to 6,000 frames per second was used by a company called Intellectual Ventures to show the invention in action. But first, to study the flight dynamics of mosquitoes, the scientists recorded their flight movements. In this video, tiny suspended water droplets, illuminated by a green laser, show the movement of air around the mosquito’s wing.  In this video, a mosquito’s flight was recorded, and we’re seeing it in extreme slow motion. To get this footage, the mosquito was placed in a custom designed chamber that sensed when the mosquito flew through the focal plane of the camera.  Later, after studying the data, and setting up the system, the mosquitoes are struck and killed by lasers. Here (3rd video, 2nd clip) you can see the laser strike… parts of the mosquito breaking off… and the body falling to the ground.  If played in real time, these segments would be about one-tenth of a second long.  The goal of this research is combating malaria, a disease spread through tropical regions of the world by mosquitoes. Nearly a million people die of the disease each year.  Intellectual Ventures says their involvement began with a challenge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To set up their system, the scientists created what they call a Photonic Fence, which, in the field, (photo) would have a beam of infrared light between fence posts. The system detects mosquitoes and shoots them down. The inventors claim all the laser parts came from inexpensive consumer electronics.  They also claim the system can distinguish between different insects. It would only target mosquitoes, and let others, such as butterflies and bumblebees, to pass through unharmed. The system can even distinguish between male and female mosquitoes, based on their wing beats. This is important, because only female mosquitoes bite humans.

Source : National Geographic Daily News

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