Technologies for creating a pointer

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Hi

I am not sure if this is the right Place to ask this question, but there is no board here on exploratory engineering.

Laser pointers are great for pointing out something if the spectators know the general direction they should be looking at. Lasers are better when it's dark than light since then you can see the beam more easily. Heck, during night the viewers may not even need to be told beforehand in which direction they should be looking since the beam is visible.

However, lets say I want to point at something very far away, and it's during the day. Lets say I have to point out a specific mountain peak or a specific window on a building. Heck, my hand is probably not steady enough, so I'll need a machine to do it for me.

What can I use to make the pointer? A really strong laser is probably not a good solution in this case. An AR headset With something like a video game HUD could work. However, I want to know what else can be used. I am not asking about something that is available off the shelf right now; I am rather just curious about how physics and Technology can be used to solve this particular problem.
 

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  • #2
.Scott
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Take a photo or point a CCTV camera at it and point to the place on the image where you want to direct their attention.

Perhaps there should be an app for this. Perhaps someone knows of an app that can be used already.
 
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  • #3
anorlunda
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@.Scott gave good advice. I'm reminded of a forest ranger's presentation at Zion National Park. The audience was seated outside looking at some mountain peaks in the background. The ranger used visual aids (I think printed, but it could have been a screen) to point out specific features close up. It was a very effective presentation technique.
 
  • #4
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Hmm, yeah, but that doesn't work well in all instances; While it works for the mountain peak, it doesn't really work for my example of a specific window; The window I was visualizing when I wrote that wasn't a distinctive one. I was thinking of a window of an apartment complex.

Also, what if the target is moving?

So, I am thinking of something that would be nearly as efficient as a laser with a visible beam or a video game HUD. Heck, even something that could shoot lightning With precision would work (With the disadvantage that it could damage the target).
 
  • #6
Baluncore
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If you ionise the air, possibly with a UV laser, you might then launch a lightning strike pointer. It would be noisy, cause EMI, and be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Call it Thor after the Norse god.

Maybe replace all live rounds in an ammunition clip with a tracer that burns or melts in about one second. It could trail white smoke during the day or burn bright enough to be seen at night. Maybe dry ice with glycol that melts in flight.

You cannot “draw” on clear air unless you can fog it with smoke. For distant objects you must eliminate parallax by fogging in depth at some distance from the group. Fog will obstruct vision.

So it comes down to mobile phones with triaxial accelerometers and magnetic sensors that super impose a target on the camera image. The orientation of the demonstrator's phone with fixed cross hairs is broadcast, to the crowd's phones, who then centre the target by aiming their phone.
 
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