“Laser-Less” Laser Tag Pointing and Orientation

Challenge details

Name: “Laser-Less” Laser Tag Pointing and Orientation
Challenge type: Theoretical IP Transfer
Award: $30000
Deadline: Under Evaluation

Challenge overview


Laser tag, the popular simulated battle game enjoyed by adults and kids alike, doesn’t actually use lasers but instead uses tightly collimated beams of infrared light and infrared detectors for targeting and determining hits. One weakness in this approach is it requires an unobstructed line-of-sight between source and target and this line-of-sight is easily obscured. The Seeker is looking for alternative methods and technologies to precisely determine pointing and orientation of a hand-held device that doesn’t require a detector and/or direct line-of-sight between endpoints. The solution should be inexpensive, compact, and battery-operated.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



The ability to precisely determine the pointing and orientation of a device is vital not only to recreational activities such as laser tag but also for a wide range of other activities such as road surveying, tool alignment in manufacturing, and building construction. In some cases these use low power lasers and in other cases just tightly collimated infrared beams, but in all cases they require an unobstructed line-of-sight view between endpoints and some means to detect the source light at the target. Unfortunately these are subject to obstruction by fog, trees, or simply a hand blocking the detector. A method that does not rely on line-of-sight and that can’t be easily obstructed would be very useful.

Consider that wearable devices that precisely track orientation, body movement, and pointing for human dynamics are everywhere. Typically using compact inertial measurement units (IMU) consisting of miniature accelerometers and gyroscopes, devices are available that measure activities such as a person’s golf or tennis swing in order to support detailed analysis of the mechanics of the motion. Devices can be augmented with computer vision and simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) algorithms for use in robotics, augmented reality, and gaming applications. Modern smartphones contain low-cost IMU, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capabilities, as well as processors capable of running SLAM algorithms and are often used for some aspects of tracking human movement and dynamics but do not appear to be capable of providing a precise pointing and orientation consistently. Smartphones can be augmented by devices such as magnetic compasses, but these devices are highly susceptible to nearby magnetic fields and magnetic materials, and as such require significant “recalibration” to maintain accuracy in these environments.

The Seeker is interested in exploring alternate methods and technologies, such as those found in wearables and smartphones, to determine the pointing and orientation of a device without relying on line-of-sight or a detector at the target endpoint. Solutions must be achievable in a form factor which can be mounted on a typical laser tag device and be battery powered.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 11-Apr-2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Theoretical IP Transfer Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical IP Transfer Challenge, meaning that Solvers must transfer all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.