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Investment takes laser firm Capaltec to new heights

By Margaret Canning

Published 26/01/2016

Alan Watts (left) from the Halo network with HeightLight chief executive Tristan Brittain-Dissont
Alan Watts (left) from the Halo network with HeightLight chief executive Tristan Brittain-Dissont

A Belfast start-up which has invented new precision height measurement technology has secured £125,000 in investment. 

The latest funding into Capaltec, which is creating a new range of laser measurement devices, brings the total investment into the company to £275,000 in just 10 months. 

And £200,000 of that sum has been directly invested through Halo, the Northern Ireland business angel network based at the Northern Ireland Science Park.

The company is now set to launch HeightLight, the world’s first handheld laser height measuring device. 

Chief executive Tristan Brittain-Dissont said sticks and tapes were the usual methods for measuring and those had been invented thousands of years ago.   

Now his firm has developed technology to measure objects, directing a laser from the top of the object to the floor at an angle.

“Many people think that laser tape measures can be used to measure height, but that isn’t the case,” he said.

Mr Brittain-Dissont added laser tape devices could not be used to measure your own height because the beam can’t penetrate the body — leading the company to invent HeightLight.

“We developed a way to direct the laser beam from the top of the object being measured to the floor at an angle. This gives you the hypotenuse of right-angled triangle.

“Once you have measured this, our software applies simple trigonometry to work out the height of the object.

“HeightLight requires no specialist skill or training.

“Anyone can use it to measure – with millimetre precision — the height of any everyday object in seconds.”

Alan Watts, head of angel investors network Halo, which has helped fund the firm, said: “It’s a simple idea but our angels were impressed with the potential of the product; you only have to look at industries such as veterinary medicine, farming, consumer health, DIY and construction to see how this innovation would benefit them.”

The company has filed patents for HeightLight.

The technology was co-invented by Michael Grace, a well-known stud farmer in the Republic.

He has operated a major equestrian, beef and tillage business for over 20 years.

Mr Brittain-Dissont spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry before starting to manage venture capital funds.

He is a former fund manager at E-Synergy and also worked as a principal at Cerulean Advisors.

Belfast Telegraph

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