Saturday, January 7, 2012

Laser pointers and video games

Hi again,
in the last week i had a couple of interesting discussions about laser pointers. Since most of these discussions were with video game fans, this is what this post will be about.
In many first person shooters, you are able to mount a laser pointer on your weapon. They then create a red beam of light which helps you aim.
Now one game that allows this is the FPS Crysis. A youtube walkthrougher named Majorslackvideos (if you like video games, be sure to check out his channel) mentioned, that in real life, enemies would be able to see your laser pointer. That is true for real life red laser pointers, but these would be incredibly hard to see, since they do not create a beam in the air at such low power. Anyway, you could use them with a scope to get a red dot like sight.
Then he mentioned infrared and this is in fact a way to get a game-like laser pointer. Infrared light is invisible to the human eye (or can you see your tv remote), but extremely bright to night vision devices since they rely on the infrared radiation of the environment as image source.
In Crysis, you play a supersoldier with a highly developed nanosuit and one of the implemented features is in fact a night vision device.
With a infrared laser, you would create a very bright point on the image. Now use modern image
processing techniques and overlay the brightest point on the image with the live-action feed. Voila, you've got a laser pointer thats only visible to you and night vision viewers. If you mount a second bright IR light source on your weapon and now draw a line between the two brightest points then you get exactly the look and feel from the game.
So why did we talk about this?
Well, using the laser pointer gives perfect aim to every weapon in the game and this is not fair.
So for future use, we agreed on only using the laser pointer in Nightvision mode, which decreases the level of detail you are able to see. A highly scientific experiment later, we were quite happy with this solution. Now we only need to write a mod that auto-switches to night-vision mode, if you use the laser pointer.
I hoped you liked this post.

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