Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fan-aiming flashlight 2

Or should that be -1?
  [vote for,

The previous idea [1] was a flashlight built into the fan so that you can see, with your eyes, while aiming the fan, where the air will go. This one is the inverse: the flashlight is what you aim, and the fan sees its light and aims there.

The fan comes with a remote control that's also a special flashlight/laser pointer. As well as a visible beam, it emits a coded infrared beam like a remote control, except that this one is very narrow while a remote control's is usually wide. (Of course, its remote control beam is still wide; this is a separate beam.) The fan is one of the remotely aimable type (servo subtype) [2], and it has an infrared receiver capable of telling the direction of the incoming infrared light to some extent. (It doesn't need to be a camera; a Northstar- style pyramidal receiver as used in the Mint/Braava and Rovio should work, as might a PSD with a lens or pinhole.)

Now just aim the remote where you want the fan to blow, and press the "aim there" button. The visible flashlight/laser pointer and the narrow infrared beam will illuminate the target area, the former to help you aim and the latter to paint the target for the fan. The infrared light will bounce off of the target, and the fan will detect what angle the target is at relative to itself. Then it will aim itself in that direction.

Prior art acknowledged: guided missiles, toy cars that drive toward where you shine the light from the remote control.

N/A [2019-08-30]

notexactly, Aug 30 2019

[1] Fan-aiming flashlight
Mentioned in idea body [notexactly, Aug 30 2019]

[2] Remotely aimable fan
Mentioned in idea body [notexactly, Aug 30 2019]


       As you point out, all the technology for this already exists. If you superimpose a PCM/PPM signal on a visible laser, that will do the job just fine, meaning that a device resembling a regular laser pointer is all that's required ; using visible light makes the seeker head simpler and cheaper too.
8th of 7, Aug 31 2019


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