Infrared Vs Laser Diodes
by Jason Bock
Benefits of using IR technology
What's laser tag all about?
From a player's point of view, the goal of laser tag is simple. Point the phaser at a scoring sensor. Fire the phaser. Tag your opponent. Score points. If a laser tag system can't accomplish this, what's the point?
A number of technologies can be used to achieve this goal. A quality infrared (IR) laser tag system will provide your guests with the best laser tag experience. Of course, the IR/laser emitter module and receivers must be designed correctly.
Our laser tag system utilizes precision IR technology in conjunction with quality laser diodes. The IR is what actually transmits the player's data and scores the tag on an opposing players IR sensor. The red laser beam is the special effect that produces a cool narrow beam of visible red light. The laser beam is also used to aid a player in aiming their phaser to score a successful tag.
Not your mother's IR.
Infrared technology has improved over the past fifteen years. Electronic components are better, more reliable and smaller than ever before. The LASERTRON LT-12 laser tag system represents the pinnacle of our current research and development.
We select the finest electronics to create a laser tag system that is rugged, light and enjoyable to play. But, we're not resting on our laurels. LASERTRON is committed to further research and development on laser tag.
That's why we've come out with new versions of our equipment every couple of years. We're going to keep growing. We pledge to make each new system the industry leader.
How important is accuracy, anyway?
That depends on who you ask. Players, whether they are 7 or 70, want to score tags on other players and targets. That's the point of laser tag.
Laser Tag is a fast paced game. Players are maneuvering quickly around the playing arena in an attempt to tag other players while simultaneously trying to avoid being tagged. This fast paced experience can make it very difficult to successfully tag an opposing player's vest. A laser tag system must be designed to allow a player to score a successful tag when a player's laser beam makes contact with an opponent's vest sensor area.
One of the benefits of IR is the ability to adjust the diameter of the beam coming out of the phaser. The IR beam can't be so small that it makes it too difficult to tag an opposing player, but it also shouldn't be so large that it takes away player skill.
The basic goal is to have the beam be large enough that if you are able to tag the players upper body with the red laser beam you should be able to register a successful tag at least 90% of the time.
The best designs tie together the laser diode and the IR, aligning both with precision so players get the sensation that they are tagging with the laser. Our LT-12 system places the IR and laser beam in the same plastic piece, aligning them permanently together.
Only IR is flexible enough to give a great experience.
A small number of laser tag manufacturers use the laser diode and fiber optics on the vest. Because a laser is a tightly focused beam of light, this makes scoring a successful tag very difficult.
You see, the fiber optic sensor areas only cover about 10% of the upper body area of a player. Unless the player tags right on the fiber optics, the shot will register as a total miss. Since 90% of your opponent's body does not have fiber optics, there are a lot of misses.
This is very frustrating for all players. In fact, there may be a lot of angles where a player just can't be tagged. Turning sideways may make a player invincible in some systems.
This problem can't be fixed. If you expand the diameter of the laser beam it will no longer produce a highly visible red laser beam in a fogged environment and it also makes the fiber optic sensors virtually unusable. If you expand the size of the fiber optic sensors, you dramatically increase the cost of the vest.
IR is reliable, too.
Most of our LT-12 system operators experience very high levels of uptime with EVERY vest they purchase from LASERTRON. Our vests were designed to be used-- and used often. After all, we test our new technology in our own laser tag center.
You can tell our vests will stand up because we offer a true 5-year "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. Everything on the pack is covered.
LASERTRON. Proven technology. Proven company. Proven success.
When you play a game of LASERTRON, you are using equipment that is tried and tested in real world environments using the best technology available.
When your guests play LASERTRON, they will understand the basics of laser tag. Aim the phaser at a target. Fire the phaser. Tag your opponent. Score points.