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Velodyne’s Highlights from CES 2013

Our LiDAR car leaving headquarters for Las Vegas, NV

CES 2013 was big for Velodyne, Inc. The show started on Tuesday, January 8, but our journey started much earlier.  A lot of preparation was required as our newly built autonomous car equipped with our LiDAR technology hit the highway to debut at the trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LiDAR readout “On the Road to CES”

Two people from Velodyne –  Pamela Gauci from our audio division and Rick Yoder from our LiDAR division – traveled over 3,000 miles from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas with time to spare to prepare for Unveiled, a huge CES press event. Unveiled, which took place on Sunday, January 6, was an exciting night for us. We had several press inquiries, gave video interviews, and hosted a packed table several people deep all night. We had a blast sharing information about our vTrue studio headphones, vFree wireless headphones as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. It was also quite fun fielding the “What’s that?” questions about our LiDAR unit sitting on our table.

David Short from Velodyne interacting with members of the press

Once CES actually started, it was “go time” for us in our suite at The Venetian as we were met with a constant flow of traffic.  The audio floor we were on was the perfect place to showcase not only our headphone line but many of our subwoofers which are Velodyne’s legacy. The greatest part about it was being able to engage with many of our customers who came from all over the world to attend CES. Relationships were developed, built and strengthened over the course of the week.

Our suite on the audio floor

Laurel Nissen from Velodyne e-commerce talking headphones with the German press

Our listening station at CES offered some quality time with the vTrue and vFree

One of the new relationships we developed was quite unexpected. Kelly LeBrock, best known for her roles in movies from the 1980’s, “Weird Science” and “Woman in Red” made several appearances at CES, and some would also say she made her comeback. She was tied in closely to many of the events that Velodyne was a part of through Living in Digital Times, and we spent a few days getting to know her. She posed for photos and gave autographs wearing our vFree headphones at our LiDAR car in the Sands Ballroom at the Venetian. She also emceed Fashionware, a wearable tech fashion show which also included our vFree and new interchangeable headphone skins. She stopped by our suite and visited with us as well as joined a few of us for dinner one night. She is a truly charming, intelligent, down to earth and beautiful woman and we hope to work with her again soon!

The press and fans went crazy for Kelly LeBrock!

Our vFree with piano skin on a mannequin

Model wearing our vTrue

Model wearing our vFree around her neck with interchangeable pink skin

Marta Hall, President of Velodyne, was chosen to be a panelist for Women in CE, to discuss what it’s like being a woman in an industry comprised mainly of men. It was interesting to hear the panelists discuss the necessity for marketing to women and share their ideas about how this should be done.

Marta Hall joined the Mommy Tech panel moderated by Women in CE founder, Carol Campbell

Our LiDAR car got its fair share of attention. Autonomous vehicles and “smart” cars in general seemed to be a popular theme this year and Velodyne was not the only company with a self-driving car at the show. However, there is no doubt that Velodyne LiDAR is a true pioneer of the technology and our engineer had a steady stream of interested show attendees who were full of questions. It was great to have two of our company’s divisions represented at CES 2013. It’s truly an honor to work for a company whose CEO and Founder, David Hall, is an brilliant inventor.

An autonomous car on the show floor intrigued many a passerby!

Despite the fact that most of our team contracted the “Flu of CES 2013” we all came back to work super-charged and enthusiastic about our product and our company. That is probably the brightest highlight of the trade show this year. Until next year!

 

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Velodyne LiDAR’s technology isn’t just for driverless cars and Radiohead videos

The Velodyne LiDAR HDL-64E

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Velodyne in the news recently…and didn’t even know it. Although Velodyne’s HDL-64E LiDAR sensor has been the main force behind autonomous vehicles for some time, the media pitch is clearly on the rise.

It began with the State of Nevada, which recently became the first state in the nation to formally approve legislation authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles on its roadway. Among other things, Assembly Bill No. 511 authorizes the state’s Department of Transportation to develop rules and regulations governing the use of driverless cars.

The public also recently saw the real-life benefits of this technology when California resident Steve Mahan, who is legally blind, was “chauffeured” to a local Taco Bell by a driverless car…

Did you notice the distinctively shaped cylinder spinning on the roof of the car? That’s the HDL-64E LiDAR sensor hard at work. It contains 64 fixed-mounted lasers that are continuously measuring the surrounding environment. Each laser is mechanically mounted at a specific vertical angle, reading its surroundings while the entire unit spins. It generates 1.3 million points per second output rate.

And you may have seen this technology a few years ago without realizing it.  If you’re a Radiohead fan, you already know they were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Short Form Music Video for “House of Cards”.

The inspiration for the video idea came from Aaron Koblin, an electronic artist and researcher at UCLA. Koblin created the flight pattern map featured at the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Koblin said he thought Radiohead would be the only band out there willing to take a risk by making a music video without cameras. Check out how Radiohead used our HDL-64E to create their vision for the song:

Thom Yorke, Radiohead’s lead singer commented on the creative process for the video. “I always liked the idea of using technology in a way that it wasn’t meant to be used, the struggle to get your head round what you can do with it. I like the idea of making a video of human being and real and time without using any cameras, just lasers, so there are just mathematical points – and how strangely emotional it ended up being,” he said.

You can be sure this is not the last you’ll see of that spinning cylinder.

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