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(This is an update on optical wireless technology for communications and builds on this post from CES earlier this year.)

1. Fraunhofer Institute has a VLC (visible light communication) section on their website with a nice overview video and links to more detailed information and contact info for Principal Investigator Dr.-Ing. A. Paraskevopoulos. There are also product details for 500 Mbit/s and 3 Gbit/s transmission units.

Fraunhofer 500 Mbits per second

Fraunhofer 500 Mbits per second

2. The latest issue of IEEE Journal of Optical Communications and Networking (Vol.6 #8) is out. You can view the latest front cover, table of contents and article abstracts here. (Full article views only by membership or pay per view.)

The 2015 issue of IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC) is in progress with publication in Q2 2015.

3. Si-soft.com.mx and ITAM.mx have announced 10 Gbit/s VLC transfer rates under what appear to be short range, prototype/lab conditions.  ITAM is Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, a PhD-granting EDU in Mexico City.  (Si-soft.com.mx  appears to be Spanish only so Google Translate could be your amigo. Also,  sisoft.com is a separate US-based signal processing company.)

4. PureLiFi.com has some new whitepapers and media mentions on their website.  This is the commercial venture of Univ. Edinburgh Prof. Harold Haas who is credited with coining “LiFi” and presented at TED in 2011.

5. OLEDcomm.com of France has a banner scroll for potential investors.  Can’t say if this is a good or bad sign.  Their online catalog of interesting and attractive fixtures still has no list prices – basically prices on request.

And last but definitely not least:

6. The next COWA (Center on Optical Wireless Apps) meeting will be on 19-21 Nov. 2015 at Georgia Tech.  COWA is an NSF center run in collaboration with Penn State and Georgia Tech along with members from industry.  Info on COWA and the next meeting at cowa.psu.edu

There’s a PBS series called “Time Scanners” that aired this Summer. They visit the Colisseum, Machu Pichu, Petra, Pyramids, Jerusalem, and St. Paul’s Cathedral to better understand details of construction, design and usage.

Pyramid scan

Pyramid scan

The principal tool is the 3D laser scanner which emits about a million bursts of laser light per second that bounce off the surface structures to obtain the surface geometry from the “point cloud.” (If you know about art, it’s like pointillism.) And just like with 360 panorama photography, individual scans can be stiched or aligned to form larger ones.

The limegreen tripod mount unit is probably the top of the line Leica P20 which costs over $100k. For architectural scanning, measurement accuracy is typically within 6mm at 100 meters range.

TimeScanners features the heavy lifting by members from the Univ. of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) and commentary from the celebrity Structural Engineer Steve Burrows.

Here’s chapter 1 of an excellent 3 part intro series to Laser Scanning. You can learn more about 3D scanning at the excellent laserscanningforum.com which also has a subforum for handheld laser scanners. Visit mv4d.com to learn more about the cool Mantis F5 handheld.

Who knows – in 20 years we could be taking 3D laser scan snapshots!