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Laser Office Direction

Follow the yellow light laser.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

You step into the reception area of a large company and get admitted by a receptionist who tell you to follow the yellow laser beam.

On the ceiling, a laser emitter projects a beam for you to follow down the hall. At the first hallway intersection, gateways of mirrors bank the laser down the hall in the right direction towards the person you need to see. Similar gateways exist and guide you to the right person, based on the entry at the reception desk.

Multiple colors of laser would allow multiple guests to follow their own paths. The gateways would allow the multiple lightpaths to pass through or divert from the same points (think of a racehorse gate at an angle to the beam source, with an electronically controlled mirror in each gate.

The lasers would end above the desk of the person you were visiting, lighting up a sign above their cube with their name. That person would signal to shut your beam off after you arrive at the destination.

trekbody, Nov 10 2006


       Sounds like an expensive solution, but you've identified a problem I've had many times in the past.
wylie_coyote, Nov 10 2006

       I have seen in a few hospitals a system of colored tags that hang from the ceiling to indicate where a specific room might be.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 10 2006

       Definitely expensive but cooler than ceiling lights. I just love the idea of the "follow the laser" schpeal that the receptionist would have to state.
trekbody, Nov 10 2006

       Would it make more sense to have the laser along the wall? At eye level perhaps? It would be easier to follow.
sibyll, Nov 11 2006

       You'd have to have the corridors filled with smoke for the laser shaft to be visible. Bun if this is the case. (Or, I suppose, you could have one of those spinning laser emitters that projects a line on the ceiling, but I'm not sure how they'd cope with being reflected around corners.)
m_Al_com, Nov 11 2006

       Would look cool. [+]   

       <Probably hardly related>I've often wondered about periscopic mirror assemblies in an office building to serve as a video message system.</phr>
daseva, Nov 11 2006

       sibyll, if the laser was hitting the walls, it could be blocked by people walking by (or hit them in the eye). I liked the follow the beam idea, and up by the ceiling there would be little blocking the way.
trekbody, Nov 13 2006

       Wouldn't arrays of neon light tubes be a little less problematic? I'm sure OSHA would have a hard time accepting smoke-filled hallways in the workplace.
ye_river_xiv, Nov 13 2006

       Asimov did this one as an airport navigation system upon arrival on Trantor.
jutta, Nov 16 2006

       Excellent. Lasers can be had for a few bucks. Needed for airport terminals too. The 'designers' have abstracted those direction signals so much that you can't tell if you should go straight up or straight down the hall, then, when the hallway splits in two and they don't want to erect a direction panel because that wouldn't fit in with their design scheme, why they just drop you.
M Carter, Jan 05 2008


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