What is ARON?
ARON–which stands for Augmented-Reality Optical Narrowcasting– is an entirely new communications channel set to take on mobile AR. It operates without reliance on the Internet or cellular networks, harnessing infrared light to create an independent, optical communications channel with unprecedented power, flexibility and freedom.
How long have you been working on this and how much has been invested to develop it?
The technology has been over 3 years in the making. It includes advanced theory, new algorithms, software development, custom circuitry and custom nonimaging optics. A comprehensive patent portfolio was also prepared to protect the intellectual property. This has been a multi-million dollar IR&D effort funded entirely by SureFire.
Who developed the technology?
Our team of scientists developed the technology led by Narkis Shatz, Ph.D. http://aronsurefire.com/the-scientists/
Why was the technology developed?
For SureFire, this was a natural outgrowth of our continuing research and development into optical transmitters, except now, applied to communications. There is a demand and great potential use for technology like this. It has the ability to fill a void in the spectrum of communications channels that would improve users experience, are commercially viable, and be available to the consumer at a relative low cost.
What makes this a new channel of communications?
It is the first practical technology with the ability to bring free-space optical communication directly to the consumer.
How does it work?
It requires transmitters and receivers for infrared light – which will be embedded into next generation smartphones, automobiles and other applications. An AR interface completes the package.
Other people have tried to develop and take to market this technology. Why have they not succeeded in the past?
Their product vision was probably different than ours.
What did you do differently to make this iteration of the technology succeed?
We took advantage of the beam tailoring and miniaturization opportunities afforded by state of the art nonimaging optics, the smartphone platform and a new many-to-many network topology concept that we envisioned.
What do you plan to do to take this technology to market?
We are making the technology available to enterprises that have the means and resourcefulness to capitalize on the huge potential that ARON brings to the world
When do you think this technology will be available for consumers to use?
It could be as soon as three years.
How much do you think the technology is worth?
We expect that consumers will gladly embrace the technologyand in the long run could prove itself to be invaluable. The actual amount will be determined by how the technology will be used, but there are unlimited possibilities for its use.
How does the technology change the world of communications?
You can be anywhere in the world and be able to receive a wealth of information for free, over an unregulated frequency, and be independent of the Internet or cellular networks.
How does this technology compare with current methods like RF?
It complements RF, providing new capabilities. One of ARON’s unique strengths is its ability to detect, discern and receive information from moving transmitters (which RF cannot do) mounted on: ball game players, conference goers, people in social gatherings, automobiles, yachts, individuals walking down the street with ARON mounted on their backpacks and more. ARON is also inherently secure.
What are the benefits of this technology versus others?
ARON caters to individuals and organizations who would like the ability to tailor the AR experience. It utilizes an alternative optical communications channel, is effective up to 400 meters—and three times that at night and does not require internet, Wi-Fi or geolocation. ARON is free to consumers—no cellular data plan or monthly fees required, transmits on an unregulated, uncensored communication channel, has low power consumption—300 times more energy-efficient than Wi-Fi—and operable by battery or solar power, is secure, private and—if desired—anonymous. The technology can transmit any digital file format—including high-definition video, it forms a “many-to-many” network topology with tiled beam swaths to overcome physical obstacles, it operates with inexpensive optical transmitter/receiver hardware—readily housed in a smartphone, automobile or place of business and provides dynamic and immersive augmented-reality capability—without need for geolocation or orientation sensing.
Who would you consider your competition for a technology such as this?
None that we know of.
Why do you think this technology will succeed?
ARON offers a new path for evolution and additional complements and alternatives to data transmission and communications.
Who is SureFire?
SureFire is a pioneering illumination technology company. Located in Fountain Valley, California, SureFire, LLC is the leading manufacturer of high performance flashlights, weapon-mounted lights, and other tactical equipment for those who go in harm’s way, or anyone who demands the ultimate in quality, innovation, and performance. SureFire illumination tools are used by more SWAT teams and elite special operations groups than any other brand.
What other types of technology and innovation experience does the company have?
SureFire has been a technology creator and developer since 1979. We currently have over 146 US patents and 43 patents pending–proof of our commitment to innovation. Among the company’s accomplishments, SureFire received DARPA funds to develop advanced TIR nonimaging optics for flashlights for military use. The company was also the first to:
- Use compact, energy-dense 123A batteries as a standard power source for illumination tools
- Create a tactical-level single-die LED flashlight
- Offer two-stage output from a single pushbutton switch
- Engineer LED headlamps with continuous output-level adjustment via a single dial
- Offer illumination tools with both white light and infrared output from one all-LED head