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New era of laser lights out of Goleta help first responders, future auto tech and data speed

GOLETA, Calif. - It is smaller than a grain of rice, but a component in the KYOCERA SLD Laser is producing results with more power, distance and performance than most of us have ever seen.

President and Co-Founder James Raring says the use of lasers is far from what the average person thinks when they envision a stream of light.

It's capable of hitting precise spots or sending out a broad stream. It can be in a small handheld light or coming off of a drone.

The light concept is also integrated into communication systems with the ability to move data faster than what modern day consumers are using now, and in some cases, find speed frustrations based on their connections.

Some first responders in Santa Barbara County are using the lights on emergency calls. Firefighters used the beam on a car at the base of a steep cliff, and released a picture of the accurate illumination.

"Recently there was a car that went over a cliff in Isla Vista.  The light actually cuts through smoke, it goes through fog and water so it creates great visibility in enhancing safety and really helping in the mission to  save lives ," says Raring.

He says compared to other lights, this technology is using the beam properly without shooting light to the wrong places or causing "light pollution."

He says, "we're taking these special laser chips and making  extremely bright light sources out of them that can generate a hundred times the brightness of LED,  ten times the range  at one tenth the size."

The company has also built a unit with 101 small laser light components united as a powerful replacement for what we have seen at lighthouses. It's shining now at Port Hueneme. The older lights can be replaced with a  "20-pound light fixture that has long lifetime and is safe."

The harbor patrol officers there are also using hand held lights.

The public will be able to have access to this laser in the form of flashlights that will have both a narrow shot and a broader stream within the compact device. It will be a featured item at outdoor stores, but likely under the name of a partner company. Amazon is expected to carry the devices as well, very soon.

Off road racers have been using the laser lights at night to see long distances in front of their vehicles at a high rate of speed. Looking at a video outside of Las Vegas, Raring said, "and you can see what that beam does for the driver. It gives them that fantastic visibility.  They're going  (about) a hundred miles an hour in a 1000-horsepower truck."

Driverless cars are expected to use this technology along with having the light fibers for inside and outside uses. Then, the vehicle can also be communicating for tech updates and data transmission.

Raring said,  "our light sources can do all of that, all in a single compact,  very small and efficient module."

The company has many years of development, testing and manufacturing to advance the work originating from UC Santa Barbara. The website says: Soraa Inc, SLD Laser was founded in 2013 by several leading global pioneers in solid state lighting, including Dr. Shuji Nakamura, a 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics for his groundbreaking work with LEDs, Dr. Steve Denbaars, Dr. James Raring, and Dr. Paul Rudy. Our laser technology incorporates a robust intellectual property portfolio of over 500 patents. SLD Laser was acquired by KYOCERA Corporation and has commenced operations as a Kyocera group company under the name KYOCERA SLD Laser, Inc.

For more information go to: KYOCERA SLD Laser

Article Topic Follows: Safety

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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