How many things can you think of that use a laser? Some of the most common electronic devices have some sort of optical disc drive, and these are stuff such as video game consoles and CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray players. The drive itself houses the laser. It runs a scan on the surface of the disc, and it can tell from the microscopic patterns beneath the shiny layer which are the ones and the zeroes. These are then passed on to a part of the machine where it interprets those numbers and turns them into the videos that you enjoy watching.
You also have larger equipment made for laser cutting. Utah has some business establishments that have such a machine. They can make precise cuts on a wide variety of materials. This is the equipment that you need if you want to cut clean sheets of glass or metals with ease.
Can you think of more instances where a laser is involved? Here are a few with laser functions that are either understated in their use or people just plain take them for granted.
Computer mice revolutionized the world of computing by helping to usher in the graphical user interface (GUI) age. People used to navigate their files and programs using a command line. Knowledge of the different types of file extensions are necessary; otherwise, you could spend a lot of time looking at a mostly blank screen with a blinking cursor. This was changed when the interface showed more graphics, and the only way to navigate this intuitively is by a pointing device like the mouse.
Older mice featured a ball that spun around little wheels inside their enclosures, which was then picked up as signals that represented the movement on-screen. These often got dirty, which caused the mouse to be unresponsive. The biggest innovation was when the ball was replaced with an optical system. This emits an infrared glow onto the surface underneath the mouse, and this is how it can detect movement.
But believe it or not, there are also mice fitted with lasers instead. The difference is just mainly the source of light, but these are touted to have higher DPI resolution.
Filling up your cart with various items from the grocery store is an easy task. But if you have filled your cart to the brim, you should expect to spend a longer time at the cashier. The good thing is that they are armed with barcode readers.
All they need to do is to zap the item’s barcode, and it will add that to your invoice in a second. The laser illuminates the pattern from the code, which is then recognized by the computer. Can you imagine not having this in your lifetime? Without that, the paying process could become tedious and time-consuming.
Laser pointers at the hands of immature people could be a nightmare. But when you use it for something productive, like a presentation, it can prove to be useful. Its brightness can stand out in a sea of colors. If you need to point something out, whether that is for a flat surface or something three-dimensional such as a scale model of a building, the laser does that job well. Most laser pointers are very pocketable, which should help in terms of portability.
There are many ways where lasers help improve your quality of life. They helped push the digital age when the CDs were introduced. You are still reaping the benefits of lasers now with other gadgets that have some sort of laser implementation. It would be exciting to see what innovations lasers can produce in the future.