Laser Technology Inc.
For over 30 years, Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI) has been a prominent name in the professional measurement and mapping sector, but have you ever wondered how they got their start in forestry?
It was all thanks to The United States Forest Service who wanted an electronic solution to quickly measure tree heights and upper stem diameters. Foresters realized that there had to be a way to make their jobs safer and more efficient than they currently were. Over the years, several companies attempted to create a device in response to these requests, but it wasn’t until LTI’s CEO, David Williams, and Bill Carr, a former measuring specialist for the Northern Region of the US Forester, stepped up to the challenge that the US Forest Service’s problem was solved.
With a commitment from the US Forest Service to purchase a sizable quantity of equipment, LTI immediately began working on a solution that all foresters could use. Over the course of a few years, the concept of the Criterion® 400 was developed. After testing and complete evaluation of 17 prototypes, the Criterion 400 was officially launched in 1992 and instantly began to change the way timber was mapped and measured. LTI was the first company in the world to create a handheld reflectorless total station that had integrated electronic data collection, sensors to measure inclination, azimuth and reflectorless distance measurement – all in one portable design. It revolutionized mapping grade measurement forever.
This system was quickly accepted by many industries that had to make critical measurements to dangerous or out-of-reach targets. With the ability to deliver measurements on a three-dimensional axis, the cost of this equipment was rapidly recouped through increased productivity and greater safety assured by its use. In combination with GPS, the Criterion provided real world coordinates to all features within range of its laser beam without occupying the point of interest.
Not long after the release of the Criterion 400 emerged The Impulse. Released in 1996, the Impulse provided a more compact, affordable laser rangefinder for use in the professional measurement industry. Measuring distance and height easily and accurately quickly made the Impulse a favorite in the forestry industry. As one of the most durable, reliable and widely sold professional laser rangefinders, many of these models are still in use throughout the world today.
Laser Technology Inc.
The Criterion 400 and the Impulse were just the beginning of a successful entry into the forest industry. LTI’s accomplishments inspired the engineers to move a few steps further. This motivation brought about the next generation of forestry tools, the Criterion RD 1000, introduced in 2005. The RD 1000 not only measures the diameter and height of trees, but also measures basal area, making this the first electronic Basal Area Factor-Scope and Dendrometer in the world. LTI also added adjustable illuminated bar scales, making it possible to see in all kinds of lighting conditions, saving foresters even more time in the field with far less frustrations. This new device is accurate, lightweight, multi-functional, affordable and allows foresters to take control of their measurements. Once again, LTI provided the forestry industry with a revolutionary timber cruising device.
In 2006, LTI yet again advanced within the professional laser measurement industry with the release of the TruPulse® 200. This laser rangefinder was a unique laser disguised as a recreational rangefinder, yet was equipped with survey-like capabilities. Measuring HD, SD, VD and INC as well as heights was now compact and affordable. Today, the TruPulse 200 is one of LTI's most popular laser measurement tools used worldwide.
The TruPulse line didn’t stop there. The customer’s approval of the TruPulse 200’s pocket size, affordable cost and greater capability provoked LTI to release the TruPulse 360. The 360 model included TruVector 360° Compass Technology® which is an integrated compass, inclinometer and distance laser, allowing the new TruPulse 360 to deliver mapping-grade accuracy with the ability to shoot from any pitch or angle. No other compass laser rangefinder can do that, even today.
LTI realized they could continue expanding the benefits of their TruPulse lasers and in 2010 released two more products ideal for forestry and professional measurement and mapping professionals. Early in the year came the MapStar® TruAngle®, which replaced the MapStar Angle Encoder, and allowed foresters to capture X, Y and Z coordinates for complete 3D mapping and surface modeling, while measuring +/- 0.05 degrees in angular accuracy.
In the following years to come, LTI released three lasers to expand the TruPulse product line and increase their involvement in the forestry industry throughout the world. First released was the TruPulse 360R, a waterproof and ruggedized version of the TruPulse with a built in compass. 2013 continued the span of new releases and product line extensions that Laser Technology experienced the last few years. Two additions to the TruPulse line released within the year, the TruPulse 200X, which features rugged waterproof housing and produces much higher precision and accurate measurements making it perfect for any type of environment, and the TruPulse 200L, a professional laser rangefinder available at consumer pricing.
Throughout 2014 and 2015, LTI emerged as a strong leader in the mobile technology field with the creation of the LaserSoft® Measure App, which allows foresters to collect and store measurements on their smartphones along with a photograph of what is seen inside the sighting scope of the laser. In addition, multiple upgrades were made to MapSmart, an easy-to-use field data collection solution used for plot layouts, closure and acreage calculation, or even mapping boundary areas. This program evolved over the years from its 1st introduction, utilizing an HP48 to now using a Windows Mobile data collector and will soon be on Smart Devices.
From the original Criterion to the TruPulse product line, LTI has been providing foresters with the resources they need to get their jobs done efficiently and safety for years. Now celebrating 30 years of business, LTI is dedicated to creating devices that address real-word needs and are the leaders in the industry.