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December 27, 2016
Not everyone can be as nimble as Saint Nick traversing wintery rooftops.
That was made apparent to Lou Lentine in 2011. His father was setting up Christmas lights when a ladder slipped out from beneath his feet. "His whole entire side was scratched up," Lentine says.
Thousands of people get hurt this way in the winter. In the last two months of 2015, 14,000 Americans ended up in the emergency room with decoration-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And those numbers don't take into account cases like Lentine's father, who refused to go to the hospital.
Lentine himself spent a few years paying professionals to decorate his home. But Lentine is an inventor — president of a company called Viatek that develops a wide variety of consumer products. And a few of his past creations used lights. So Lentine decided to come up with his own decoration solution.
His idea was to use a laser instead of bulbs to decorate homes. A lens would split the laser so one point could become thousands, instantly decorating the entire surface of a house. The new device had to be able to keep warm in winter weather while also not overheating from the laser...
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