News | January 16, 2018

Light Years Ahead? Optical Communications Channel ARON Turns Heads At Gathering Of World's Leading Scientists And Engineers

Illumination Technology Leader SureFire Follows CES Debut With "Best Demo Award" at IEEE Conference

Fountain Valley, CA /PRNewswire/ - On the heels of its public debut at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), California-based illumination technology company SureFire presented its innovative new optical communications channel, ARON, to some of the world's leading scientists at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Consumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC) on January 15 in Las Vegas.

ARON—which stands for Augmented-Reality Optical Narrowcasting—operates without reliance on the Internet or cellular networks, harnessing infrared light waves to create an independent, optical communications channel with remarkable power, flexibility and freedom.

IEEE's Consumer Communications & Networking Conference marked the first time many of the world's top scientists and engineers had gotten an up-close view of ARON's groundbreaking technology. In a 2017 IEEE report, the organization had identified RF spectrum allocation as a major issue facing the tech sector today, and opined that visible light communication, or LiFi—a close relative to ARON's optical communications technology—might be one solution to the challenge. The ARON demonstration so impressed the audience that it was honored with the conference's coveted "Best Demo Award."

"SureFire is laying the foundation for a post-Wi-Fi world," wrote technology reporter Jessica Conditt in Engadget. "Ditching Wi-Fi and data creates a secure connection, but it would also come in handy wherever Internet connectivity is weak or nonexistent, and in the face of natural disasters, which typically wipe out Wi-Fi."

SureFire's Narkis Shatz, Ph.D., program lead and one of the inventors of ARON, was pleased by the reception ARON got at CES and IEE's CCNC. "Free space optical communications is a new and unusual technology in the consumer sphere, but people are beginning to grasp its potential to change the world of smartphones and mobile devices," said Shatz.

ARON transmits data by way of a patented combination of optical signals and beacons. According to SureFire, it can send and receive any form of digital information—including high-definition video. It's fast, secure and private, and capitalizes on an entirely unregulated communications platform. Three hundred times more energy-efficient than Wi-Fi, it can operate on batteries or solar power—a critical differentiator from RF communications.

Unveiled just last week at CES, ARON sparked considerable interest as attendees learned for the first time about the technology and its capacity to provide an alternative to radio frequency (RF) wave-based connectivity. With so much attention being paid to spectrum allocation and Internet bandwidth limitations—and general agreement in the industry that a 5G network is still years away from a roll-out—news of SureFire's potentially game-changing optical communications channel spread rapidly.

"ARON is like futuristic Wi-Fi that works with infrared light," wrote The Next Web's Rachel Kaser in a report filed from CES. "ARON isn't reliant on Wi-Fi or cellular data, is private, and can operate on solar power. It operates much like bluetooth beacons, only via infrared rather than radio frequencies. It can be used in places where Wi-Fi is untenable or nonexistent—or in high-traffic places like CES itself."

About ARON & SureFire
ARON, or Augmented-Reality Optical Narrowcasting, is a digital communications technology created by SureFire, the world leader in illumination technology for over 20 years. Located in Fountain Valley, California, SureFire, LLC manufactures 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. SureFire is an ISO 9001:2000-certified company.

SOURCE: SureFire