Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
July 17, 2021

Transferring Broadband and Data Through Light Part 1 - Special Guest: OptiPulse COO Mathis Shinnick

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Mathis Shinnick has been working with startups and investors for years. Most recently, he co-founded OptiPulse. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico OptiPulse is working to revolutionize digital communications. They are developing Near Infra-Red technology that tests show are capable of data transmission speeds that leave 5G and even the much lauded Starlink in the dust. How fast? How about 10GB/sec? The potential is actually much greater but that is all current off-the-shelf electronics can handle. 

Just as exciting as the speed, is the range that it allows. Photons towards the infrared part of the spectrum have a longer wavelength than radio or microwaves. Normally, that limits the range as longer, lower energy wavelengths can get obscured in the atmosphere. OptiPulse has patented technology that can focus the energy much more like a laser, giving it much greater range. If you are wondering how great the range is, it can send a beam to space with the kind of bandwidth mentioned above. Also, if you caught the part about low energy, that means you don’t need nearly as much power to operate the system, making it cheaper and greener to use. 

That increased range plus lower cost will make OptiPulse the perfect choice for bringing broadband communications to out of the way areas. Well placed towers could provide communication for places that are difficult to reach with any kind of cable. Right away, that makes the OptiPulse system an obviously better alternative than fiber optics or any other option that relies on a hard and continuous infrastructure system. Naturally, this saves considerably on construction costs. There will still be costs of course. The detectors are line of sight, requiring the detectors to be in view of each other. While that means that a number of collectors and emitters are necessary, it also means that the data is more secure since it is harder to intercept a direct beam than something diffused over a wide area.

Another interesting benefit of this developing technology, Mathis points out, is that since it uses light to transmit information, it operates outside of any regulated space. OptiPulse therefore isn’t competing with all the cell towers and Starlink that are operating in the radio band. Those other means of communication have to deal with interference from other signals, signals that require devices to filter out the noise that results from the interference. Again, lower cost than other alternatives. 

Mathis also says Optipulse will be easier to update. Since it is a modular system based around towers, towers that are accessible compared to cables in the ground or satellites in space, changing out hardware would be just a drive from the nearest service hub away. Therefore, as the communications technology develops, OptiPulse will be able to keep up with it much easier than anything else on the market or close to the market. 

Yet, OptiPulse need not completely take over either. It could actually work with existing fiber optic technology. Remember, fiber optic is just using light to transmit information through a glass tube in the ground. Existing cable could be mated to an OptiPulse tower to extend the range of the network rather than having to incur the expense of laying new cable.  

Where are things going in the future? The shift to online work that occurred as a result of Covid has brought a lot of awareness to the need for better connectivity, and to the fact that 5G isn’t delivering on its promise. Even in the relatively few places where it has been implemented, it is underperforming. That has helped OptiPulse attract a number of investors to help bring the company to the next phase, bringing the next phase of connectivity closer to you.

What’s your data worth?

Feature Image Credit: Envato Elements

For those who are hard of hearing – the episode transcript can be read below:


Alexander McCaig (00:00):

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to TARTLE Cast. You're here this morning with a special guest Mathis Shinnick. Mathis Shinnick is from OptiPulse. If you could have ever thought that a light photon would be carrying information, well, good for you, he's the one that made a business out of it. So Mathis, please kick it off and tell us a little bit about this technology we have here that is actually quite incredible. We'd love to hear how this thing kind of got started and where you see it headed in the future.

Mathis Shinnick (00:34):

Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me on.

Alexander McCaig (00:36):

Yeah, no problem.

Mathis Shinnick (00:36):

A pleasure to be able to get out there and talk about this. Awareness is everything. And that's part of what our technology does, it's connectivity. We're able to utilize light emitting photonic devices, and I promise not to go too technical on this, but a unique way of producing laser quality light through the atmosphere that can carry billions of bits of data a second. Right now we're at 10 gigabits a second, I'll say single channel, because that's very important for those that follow this type of technology.

Alexander McCaig (01:13):

I understand some are the atmosphere, right? If the sun or the moon's baking down on the earth or starlight, whatever it might be, it gets diffused, right? Through the particles in the atmosphere.

Mathis Shinnick (01:22):


Alexander McCaig (01:23):

So, you're saying that you have a device that essentially emits light and that light is carrying information with it.

Mathis Shinnick (01:30):


Alexander McCaig (01:31):

And you can send light targetedly towards some other receiving object.

Mathis Shinnick (01:34):

Yes. The approach we take is based in terms of our patents and the way we utilize light. And think of an array of points of light. So nine points of light, 105 points of light, 10,000 points of light, all pulsing exactly the same at 20 billion pulses a second, so 10 gigabits a second. That amount of data that I'm going to put through our optical system gets collimated into a beam, that's like a flashlight, right? Or a big spotlight. And that big spotlight then goes through the air and anywhere within that spot is the message. So at the far end when it hits the collector lenses and the detector is focused back down, as long as that detector is somewhere within that spot, you've got a signal. So raindrops, snowflakes, dust, to some degree, those were all things that capture a little bit of light, but doesn't stop all the light.

Mathis Shinnick (02:34):

And the best way I like to explain it is, if you're standing on rainstorm or looking at your window and it's raining and you look across the street and you see a street light, that light is coming through your eyes. It's the same thing that our device is doing.

Alexander McCaig (02:50):

I'm always looking out the window crying, waiting for Jason to come call me over to the studio. So is there like a margin of error within this thing? If somebody has to understand, so these two devices have to be pointed at one another?

Mathis Shinnick (03:03):

Yes. Line of sight.

Alexander McCaig (03:04):

Okay. So I had Starlink show up the other day.

Mathis Shinnick (03:07):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alexander McCaig (03:08):

I'm one of the earlier people in New Mexico to get this. And I know that it's going to readjust to where it's receiving that K band or whatever it is coming from space.

Mathis Shinnick (03:17):


Alexander McCaig (03:18):

Is this in its own special type of band of frequency, if it's emitting light, and why? What is the benefit of this in comparison to what fiber optic technology does where I have a very thin piece of glass and I'm essentially pulsing light through that.

Mathis Shinnick (03:32):

Ah, glad you brought up fiber cable.

Alexander McCaig (03:34):

Why would I remove the medium?

Mathis Shinnick (03:37):

Right. This essentially fiber cable through the air, is what it is.

Alexander McCaig (03:40):

Okay. Here we go for metaphors, that worked.

Mathis Shinnick (03:42):

Yeah. So we've got the ability to extend from a fiber cable drop point, right? You'd be able to go up to our emitter detector and unit and send that out through the air. So you don't have to pull the permits, hire the construction crew, dig the trenches, find your way through it. You don't have that time element there, plus you don't have the cost of doing all that. So if you compare it to something like Starlink, which is beaming down in-

Alexander McCaig (04:13):

Oh yeah, in sales.

Mathis Shinnick (04:14):

... radio-frequency.

Alexander McCaig (04:15):


Mathis Shinnick (04:16):

We're in the light spectrum. We're actually near infrared. So we're at 80 nanometers a thousand-

Alexander McCaig (04:23):

So, it's actually a rather long wave.

Mathis Shinnick (04:26):


Alexander McCaig (04:26):


Mathis Shinnick (04:27):

Right. So what we're actually doing with this is because you can't see the beam, and it is eye safe, you can't see the beam, but that signal is coming through a light spectrum. So you're not... In any of the regulated RF band spectrums. You can't regulate light. You don't have light interfering with light. So one of the benefits of our technology is, you don't have radio frequencies causing noise as they overlap. So one of the problems with something like Starlink or other radio frequencies is that they can conflict and you get noise. So you have to have special devices that filter that out. You've got to have the tracking capability.

Alexander McCaig (05:14):


Mathis Shinnick (05:15):

Now you go back to the point about line of sight. Yes, we are line of sight. So you have to be able to see both sides. So, the detector and the receiver have to be able to see both sides.

Alexander McCaig (05:25):

So, no pun intended, what's the targeted audience then?

Mathis Shinnick (05:30):

Well, we're all about connectivity.

Alexander McCaig (05:31):


Mathis Shinnick (05:31):

So raise it up to what this means. We're greener. The power consumption to run our devices as a fraction it would have cost to run the devices that are putting RF radio waves out there. We are smaller form factor, so we use less material. So there and again, smaller footprint. We're connectivity in the sense that we want to be able to bring this out as a utility. We've properly structured the company so that we have control over how it's deployed.

Alexander McCaig (06:01):


Mathis Shinnick (06:02):

Which means we could put this across the whole state of New Mexico and a fraction of cost it would take to run fiber cable or other type of connective devices, or fixed wireless, for example. So we can connect in telehealth, telemedicine, job training, work from home, and it is our goal to be able to do that at a significantly reduced price. So essentially, access to high-speed broadband for all.

Alexander McCaig (06:31):

That's interesting. So say for instance, I have one drop line here in the center of Albuquerque or Santa Fe. From that I have a central tower and I have a near infrared beam sending out multiple directions if I choose to, other receiving ones.

Mathis Shinnick (06:50):


Alexander McCaig (06:50):

So I could have 20 different pueblos essentially linked up off of this one central hub and spoke model I'm sending out...

Mathis Shinnick (06:56):

That's right.

Alexander McCaig (06:57):

... this node.

Mathis Shinnick (06:57):

That's right.

Alexander McCaig (06:58):

And they'll capture, and then that'll drop a fiber line into their homes from that other pole where they might be.

Mathis Shinnick (07:03):

That could be. Yes, yes. Right now we could take existing 4G technology and make it faster, enable it. And I say that because if you think of what's going on between your cell phone, computer and a tower someplace.

Alexander McCaig (07:20):


Mathis Shinnick (07:20):

So at this stage, we don't beam right down to a cell phone.

Alexander McCaig (07:26):

No we don't.

Mathis Shinnick (07:26):

We don't. What we do is we take the data that's coming off of cell phones to a tower, that data that gets to that tower, we're connecting tower to tower, to tower, to tower, to data center, to fiber drop point. And that's in the industry called back haul. So essentially it's the big pipe that collects all this information for those in New Mexico, the Balloon Fiesta, actually around the world's it's a well known thing. Balloon Fiesta, you get tens of thousands of people in a concentrated area. If you don't have the pipe coming in and out, that can move that data in and out, you end up having frustration because you can't send that video. You can't make that call, it drops. And this is one of the real life experiences at that Fiesta. So it could be anywhere in the world where you've got a major event and you're having problems because your pipe isn't big enough, but we expand that pipe. Another way to look at it is to look at it as a highway. All right?

Alexander McCaig (08:25):

Like a Chinese super highway? Because Jason knows, I love those metaphors.

Mathis Shinnick (08:28):

Okay. So we're a Chinese super highway, right? And it's still not big enough.

Alexander McCaig (08:32):

No, it's not.

Mathis Shinnick (08:33):

Right? Because they're using traditional technology. So if you look at what we're able to do is we can expand the number of lanes.

Alexander McCaig (08:39):


Mathis Shinnick (08:40):

Right. So that your on-off ramps can flow right in. So the more data you bring in, the more data you take off on this highway. The more lanes you have, the faster that traffic flows.

Alexander McCaig (08:51):

So then let me ask, is it variable then? So, say I do pump in a couple million people at one time, which would naturally bog down any regular cell tower with the back-haul system that they have currently set up.

Mathis Shinnick (09:00):


Alexander McCaig (09:01):

Do you guys have an adaptive model where it'll just naturally expand to the amount of people coming in and it can manage that throughput or do you have to set that ahead of time?

Mathis Shinnick (09:08):

Well, what we do right now is, there's networking to all of this. That is a part of some of the partners that we've got.

Alexander McCaig (09:16):


Mathis Shinnick (09:17):

So we're not at this point network companies, we're connectivity in a sense of that back haul. So we set our upside limit at 10 times, 20 times is what's available now.

Alexander McCaig (09:31):


Mathis Shinnick (09:32):

I say that because that's 10 gigabits a second and I'll come back to that number because it's what the off the shelf electronics...

Alexander McCaig (09:39):

Can handle at the moment?

Mathis Shinnick (09:41):

... can handle right now.

Alexander McCaig (09:41):


Mathis Shinnick (09:42):

We're designing our own high speed electronics so that we can go 20, 25. And our chips have been tested at 25 and higher, so we know that we can keep increasing the upside. Now, the only necessary thing that we would have to do in that situation is either swap out the electronic board or the device itself to go from 10 gigabits to 20 gigabits. But in most situations where you've got that 10 gigabit capability, 10 gigabits per second capability, it'll take years before the data demand utilize this, that.

Alexander McCaig (10:21):

So, you're saying there's essentially a plug and play technology to the way you've designed this. So the way everybody typically gets screwed on most infrastructures, especially the ones that are here that states opt into, is that they put it in and then it's almost impossible to update later and it took so much debt to front load this thing to get the infrastructure in place.

Mathis Shinnick (10:40):


Alexander McCaig (10:40):

I felt like, oh, we're going to keep this for... They we're incentivized to keep this for a while. Look how much we paid for in the beginning.

Mathis Shinnick (10:46):


Alexander McCaig (10:46):

In sense of the cost structure, installation, accessibility, and the ability to upgrade to the future as we do increase that sort of data throughput, are you guys able to adapt with that at OptiPulse?

Mathis Shinnick (10:59):

Yes. Yes.

Alexander McCaig (11:01):

Prove it. Tell me.

Mathis Shinnick (11:02):

We like to say we're complimentary.

Alexander McCaig (11:04):


Mathis Shinnick (11:05):

Right? So you've got existing fiber in the ground and you're a fiber operator. And you're looking at trying to get to that next community. And you know it's going to cost you $30,000 to go one mile in New Mexico softer, maybe 80,000 to go in some other environment. If you're in a city, it's going to cost much more than that just to go a mile. Right?

Alexander McCaig (11:29):


Mathis Shinnick (11:29):

So between that point, where fiber ends, you simply put in a link and the fiber comes up to our emitter detector and it goes to that community. Now they can backfill that, right? They can backfill that if they really want to get fiber there, but they have an immediate access to a market [inaudible 00:11:49] expert. Now, cost points all very relevant, proven. Right?

Alexander McCaig (11:53):


Mathis Shinnick (11:53):

So John Joseph, who's the inventor of this technology, my business partner and this phenomenally bright mind was able to design something that for the source of the light costs less than a dollar, and in volume production will be far less than that.

Alexander McCaig (12:09):


Mathis Shinnick (12:09):

So we've got an emitter source, but you compare it to other communication better sources in the wireless spectrum, both radio frequency as well as light, and we're a tenth or a thousandth the cost of those devices. And we use far less energy to operate it and the electronics to run it, or maybe a $50, $25 in volume, $10 look phonics board.

Alexander McCaig (12:38):


Mathis Shinnick (12:38):

Right? So you're looking at something that could be well under $25 or $30 in order to have. And we've got the ability to do solid state alignment and maintain alignment so we don't have to use gimbals, which is one of the things we have a National Science Foundation grant. We had a phase one, we completed that. We're now preparing for phase two. And that's all about how we take these chips and put them in an array. So you have an array of arrays effectively.

Alexander McCaig (13:05):


Mathis Shinnick (13:06):

You got 10 by 10 of chips that have 61 light bits on them, so you can do the math.

Alexander McCaig (13:11):

Yeah, it's huge.

Mathis Shinnick (13:12):

And that cost maybe a hundred bucks.

Alexander McCaig (13:15):

A hundred bucks to get a sub if you're doing a dollar per chip.

Mathis Shinnick (13:18):

Yeah. A dollar per chip plus, but even less and then the electronics and you don't need to have all the gimbles involved in maintaining that alignment because we can pulse through the chips themselves.

Alexander McCaig (13:29):


Mathis Shinnick (13:29):

As things move around. So we've got a cost advantage. And then that leads to size, weight, power consumption. It really brings the whole thing down to the point where it is extremely attractive from the cost point. Now we intend to make it available. We have some great shareholders here, all NGOs, institutions, about 90% New Mexican. We did a crowdfunding just recently on Wefunder, brought in 400 new investors.

Alexander McCaig (13:59):


Mathis Shinnick (13:59):

Oh fantastic. Great group of people. And we are going to continue to expand that with the goal of having this be something that can close the digital divide, because we're not going to try to price it for return necessarily. Not all these investors want a good return, but we're doing this for pricing it for accessibility.

Alexander McCaig (14:20):

Okay. So what's that mean?

Mathis Shinnick (14:21):

Well, that means if you're looking at having a service like Starlink and what you're paying for Starlink.

Alexander McCaig (14:29):

I pay $3 and 30 cents a day.

Mathis Shinnick (14:32):

$3 and 30 cents a day for... What's you're up and down?

Alexander McCaig (14:35):

300 Mbps.

Mathis Shinnick (14:38):

Up and down.

Alexander McCaig (14:39):

Up, I think was like 120.

Mathis Shinnick (14:41):


Alexander McCaig (14:41):


Mathis Shinnick (14:42):

So you...

Alexander McCaig (14:43):

With a 61 millisecond latency.

Mathis Shinnick (14:45):

Okay. So you're at what? $3, you said, a day?

Alexander McCaig (14:48):


Mathis Shinnick (14:49):

Right. So you're at $90 a month.

Alexander McCaig (14:51):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Mathis Shinnick (14:52):

Well, we can be half of that.

Alexander McCaig (14:53):

Yes. That's incredible.

Mathis Shinnick (14:55):

Yeah. And we have some business partners that are also investors here in the state that are ISP, internet service providers, rural telecom providers who are very excited to try to get this. It's our job now to get to the point where we've got the devices expanding beyond the technology. But I just think of all the things that we could do in terms of bringing healthcare into the living room.

Alexander McCaig (15:17):


Mathis Shinnick (15:18):

Right. And then amount of data that needs to flow if you've got home testing devices that are keeping track of an individual and be able to send that data instantaneously effectively, very low latency to a center where you've got the doctors and the healthcare professionals that can deal with that. And the immediate response capability, and the immediate awareness, because you can put a camera or something in there, they can turn it on and off, their control, but you can get that access and that immediate response so that you're not having to wait if you've got a crisis.

Alexander McCaig (15:56):

Yeah. That's interesting. Jason, in the military, you've been in a boatload of crises. What did communication look like?

Jason Rigby (16:05):

Oh yeah. It's pretty archaic. I mean, now it may have... I mean, this was the '90s when I was in, but-

Alexander McCaig (16:10):

Well, tell me about the '90s.

Jason Rigby (16:12):

There was a lot of satellite, but it was intermittent. And we talked about that the other day with GPS and connecting into satellites. But I would think as far as like... Because I was thinking about that, beside high speed internet, because it seems like we talking about this transfer of data, what other applications, maybe stick military government... What other applications can you use that for? Like if we're in a desert in Iraq. Has the military approached you or the labs or anything on these?

Mathis Shinnick (16:45):

Well, we do have a couple of grants. So, there's SBIR, or the Small Business Innovation Research grants. One from the DOD. Well, actually had two from the DOD and then the one from the National Science Foundation. And what I can say about that is battlefield communications, expanding the ability for everybody to communicate at the same speed. So at a high-speed communication. So be it soldiers on the ground, mobile command posts, to communicate within that field, going up to drones, going up to aircraft, going up to satellites, you had that ability and it's light. Invisible light. So it's near infrared. So it's not detectable like a radio-frequency would be. Should not, having a problem-

Jason Rigby (17:38):

There's no enigma machine.

Alexander McCaig (17:39):


Mathis Shinnick (17:40):

There's no enigma machine.

Alexander McCaig (17:41):

That can figure this out.

Jason Rigby (17:42):

Well, actually. That's-

Mathis Shinnick (17:43):

And that's a good point.

Jason Rigby (17:43):

I got a question about that. So let's talk about security.

Mathis Shinnick (17:46):


Jason Rigby (17:47):

You have a collection array, right?

Mathis Shinnick (17:49):


Jason Rigby (17:50):

Like for instance, the Drug Enforcement Agency right now and the feds have a thing where they'll essentially put in a fake node, fake cell tower, because we know how all these signals are bouncing around and they can collect all the IMEIs and then trace back to figure out who owns that phone, the address, all that other information.

Mathis Shinnick (18:04):


Jason Rigby (18:05):

Well, are there other collection devices in here? So is it the actual photon carrying information or is it the way the pulse of the wave of light is hitting the receivers that defines the information?

Mathis Shinnick (18:21):

It is the pulse. The photon is the pulse essentially. We are simply on-off keying, it is called OOK.

Jason Rigby (18:30):


Mathis Shinnick (18:31):

So we're turning on and off 20 billion times a second to get that data out there. And that is then interpreted at the other end and converted back into a digital signal.

Jason Rigby (18:44):

That's correct. Yeah.

Mathis Shinnick (18:45):

Right? Or back into light going into the fiber cable. So if you think of it in the sense of going back to the line of sight point to point.

Jason Rigby (18:54):


Mathis Shinnick (18:55):

Right. So you've got a beam. Now, our beam is four inches, two meters, right? We can expand that thing out. So we can detect within that beam if there's degradation because something is in the middle of it that's collecting information, and we can shut that thing down.

Jason Rigby (19:14):

That makes sense.

Mathis Shinnick (19:15):

Right? But you got to find the beam. Now, if you can see visually two towers, you can kind of figure out where that beam is going to be. And you got to figure out how to get up there with something that's going to actually collect the device. Well, there's creative people with drones and stuff, they can do that.

Jason Rigby (19:29):


Mathis Shinnick (19:29):

But those are very, very easily identifiable events. Now we can focus the beam down to a very tight beam in which case indie type of eavesdropping would be an immediate alarm. So, that's the-

Jason Rigby (19:41):

So it just shuts right off.

Mathis Shinnick (19:42):

Shuts right off. So once you got to find the beam, if you don't see where the devices are, then you're not going to find the beam. Till you've got to get in the actual beam itself to capture anything. And as your short capturing thing, you're taking light away from our detector, in which case it says fault, and the thing shuts down. Now our technology going back to the low cost, low size, low weight, low power consumption, we can create mesh networks which allow the ability for... Economically, that's why I brought up the point of the cost, we can create a mesh networks or put mesh networks in place where you can switch between all the nodes. And in fact, that's one of the beauties of line of sight issues, is that, if one gets blocked, a tree comes down. For example, if one gets blocked, then it can immediately switch to the next node and go and route it back over.

Mathis Shinnick (20:37):

So we can put on top of buildings in a city, for example, say downtown Albuquerque, Midtown Manhattan. We can put them up on top of buildings and if one of those links goes down, it just reroutes to the other links, and off you go.

Alexander McCaig (20:52):

What's our maximum range on this light?

Mathis Shinnick (20:54):

Right now we're operating at the 300 meters to 500 meters.

Alexander McCaig (20:58):

Yeah. Because I was curious, like the Israelis came up with a cool technology for charging your device in a room. They essentially put a near infrared band up and then a receiver on the phone. So wherever you put it, it essentially tracks that and is pumping the energy towards it, low wave energy. Is there any... Do you see in the future beyond just this point to point, actually sending it up to maybe a satellite or something that attracts and then bouncing it back down because it would still have a faster rate than what you'd get on a typical K band from a satellite anyway.

Mathis Shinnick (21:30):

Yeah. We've got... You're talking about Watts of power in terms of optical power [crosstalk 00:21:34].

Alexander McCaig (21:34):

Yeah, that's correct. And would you mind just staying towards the mic so we can hear you because you cut out every time you turn.

Mathis Shinnick (21:39):

So sorry.

Alexander McCaig (21:40):

Yeah. I don't want anything important to get missed here. All right.

Mathis Shinnick (21:42):

Well, yeah, if there was... Anyway, so the Watts of power necessary to go ground to space, it's something our technology can do. In fact, John is working with various parties on that particular aspect right now. We have an entity in Albuquerque, Tau Technologies has been a business partner of ours and we're working with them on the ground to space, space to ground challenge. It's not really a challenge it's just really engineering what our chips can do into the actual device that's going to do it. So we can go LEO, we can go high altitude airships. There's another company in Albuquerque out in New Mexico, Sceye, that is producing these high altitude airships. The ability to beam down from that to cover a wide area. I'm not that much looking forward to having more radiation beaming down on me.

Alexander McCaig (22:40):

Okay. So then how do you feel about 5G?

Mathis Shinnick (22:41):

Well, 5G is incomplete. 5G hasn't yet actually been a success. So fifth generation is what it is. Right?

Alexander McCaig (22:53):


Mathis Shinnick (22:55):

Well, the protocol software to move that technology around is something that is being advanced with great speed by the Ericsson's and T-Mobile's and Nokias of the world. But the physical infrastructure to make that happen, the small cell technology, right? That type of a device is lagging. And so we look at it in a sense of the layers, right? Within a communication network.

Alexander McCaig (23:28):


Mathis Shinnick (23:28):

We're way down on layer one, we're infrastructure. Maybe we get up to layer two as we start through an IP addresses into our devices.

Alexander McCaig (23:36):

Got it.

Mathis Shinnick (23:36):

We are agnostic as to what comes in and goes out. So you take a fiber cable, plug that into our device, you've had information coming in, we take that, convert it to light pulses, collect it, convert it back and put it back in a fiber cable.

Alexander McCaig (23:50):

Sounds easy.

Mathis Shinnick (23:50):

Okay. So that's where we are right now. So, 5G, 6G, 7G, 8G, we look at it that we should go beyond 5G because it's not really performing and doing what it should do. So get past these generations and focus on it as a ubiquitous infrastructure that can carry massive amounts of data regardless of what form that data is in.

Alexander McCaig (24:14):

So you're saying that these natural... I mean, these artificial steps that the telecommunications industry are taking, they're not being transparent with the technology available and they're also not investing in it. Are they perversely incentivized to use 5G when they could be using other technologies like yourself? What prevents them from coming to opticals and saying, "Hey, we see what you're doing. We understand that the benefits, we understand that we can actually generate more traffic by using your systems. Let's have a conversation." Are they doing that? What is preventing them from doing that? Tell me what that looks like.

Mathis Shinnick (24:48):

Well, there's history around what is... I'm going to raise this back up here.

Alexander McCaig (24:52):

Yeah, go for it.

Mathis Shinnick (24:53):

There's history around what optical wireless has looked like in the past. Free space opticals, We have history there. And that's because the actual light emitters back then aren't what we have now. And there's a massive investment in 5G, so it's not that they're not investing in it. They're taking a proven technology, from the radio waves at lower power levels and they're trying to jack it up to higher power levels. Higher power levels mean more data can go through simplified. Right?

Alexander McCaig (25:29):

So I got the Jeep Grand Cherokee and I choose to put the Hellcat engine in it.

Mathis Shinnick (25:33):

Yeah, okay.

Alexander McCaig (25:35):

Yes, it's faster, is it safer? I don't know.

Mathis Shinnick (25:38):

Is it controllable? But that health aspects aside, what they're trying to do is fix enhance something they've already got. Now, there was a decision five years, six years, 10 years ago as to whether or not optical wireless or free space optical would work. Massive amounts of money, hundreds of millions of dollars were put into a number of companies trying to get that to work, and because it was point to point, a single beam, not an array of beams, far more expensive emitter technology, tracking technology. So you've got a single beam trying to hit a single detector and you got to keep them alive.

Alexander McCaig (26:23):

It's a mess, you can't have any margin of error.

Mathis Shinnick (26:24):

Nope. None whatsoever. And so cost, size, weight, functionality, and lack of reliability.

Alexander McCaig (26:34):

You can't talk about Jason like that.

Mathis Shinnick (26:38):

Oh, I don't know.

Alexander McCaig (26:39):

Come on. He's in the room here.

Mathis Shinnick (26:41):

Army. Navy, Airforce, Marines?

Jason Rigby (26:45):

Yeah. Marines. Yeah.

Alexander McCaig (26:46):

Did you see his shirt by the way today?

Mathis Shinnick (26:47):

I did see that shirt. Yes.

Alexander McCaig (26:49):

We've been fighting fashion since 1492.

Jason Rigby (26:52):

It's a New Mexican [crosstalk 00:26:53].

Mathis Shinnick (26:53):

There we go.

Alexander McCaig (26:53):

Somebody's got to do it.

Mathis Shinnick (26:56):

So ground pounder comments aside. So what we can do with this is advance that infrastructure so that all of the protocols and the overran, which is an open architecture for being able to have devices speak to each other.

Alexander McCaig (27:16):


Mathis Shinnick (27:17):

So, no acute device has talked to Ericsson, et cetera, which is important for factory floors, it's important for hospitals, is important for most everything we're trying to do to put more data out there.

Alexander McCaig (27:27):


Mathis Shinnick (27:28):

We can create that infrastructure pipeline and they could call it 5G, they could call it 6G, they could call it the zillion G and yet our technology will be the fundamental infrastructure for being able to have all those advancements happen. And we're now, right now, after all this year of pandemic and all, with a heightened awareness that fact that 5G just isn't getting there in terms of bringing people connected, bringing school to the home because kids are at home bringing work to the home, that's just not happening. Factor is that... I'll digress for one moment. There's a Washington post article that's been shared multiple times about a researcher taking an array of phones, 5G phones, 4G phones, and going community to community, city to city and testing them all.

Alexander McCaig (28:22):


Mathis Shinnick (28:22):

And where 5G performed better, it was marginally better, but most of the time the 4G phones had better reliability, connectivity, data transit throughput. And so it's the infrastructure. I mean, the phones probably the 5G phones probably work fine.

Alexander McCaig (28:40):

Yeah. I mean like my-

Mathis Shinnick (28:41):

There's infrastructure.

Alexander McCaig (28:41):

My laptop, for instance, exceeds far beyond whatever the throughput of the internet here is. Right?

Mathis Shinnick (28:46):


Alexander McCaig (28:47):

Because it's capped off by Comcast.

Mathis Shinnick (28:49):

It's going to a unit somewhere on the wall and that unit's got some cable or fiber or something.

Alexander McCaig (28:55):

We all got net loss somewhere, right?

Mathis Shinnick (28:57):

Right. Exactly.

Alexander McCaig (28:57):

So let's come back for part two to talk about what the future looks like with OptiPulse and humanity.

Mathis Shinnick (29:02):


Speaker 4 (29:10):

Thank you for listening to TARTLE Cast with your hosts, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby. Where humanity's steps into the future and the source data defines the path. What's your data work?