Have you seen anything (published before Sep 2, 1980) as described in this US Patent Application "Optical position location apparatus" US 4420261 A, that utilizes or describes either a optical scanner/stationary detector in conjunction with a scanner/stationary optical light?
Priority date: Jan 3, 1966
This is the first and earliest reference to the use of a scanning beam and synchronous detection using a passive reflector as a position/location detector.
NOTE: This NOT time-of-flight or Amplitude detection. This is instead taking into account that this scanning beam method knows it's XYZ position and when the target reflector is lit up, the position is known.
For CRT's, the beam brightness was extremely bright because the entire tube face was lit by just one scanning beam as example 1/1000 beam the size of the screen size. (If 1000x1000 points = 1 lux overall brightness, means an ordinary CRT beam was one million lux) (NTSC = 525 horizontal lines, each scanned in 62.5 microseconds) So the "target-reflector" could be a dirty finger tip.
This reflected bright beam allowed the position of the object to be picked up by looking for a pulsed signal to be returned to a single photocell. The reflection of the light is detected and latches the XYZ position of the beam current position. This made the entire hardware cost to be less than $1.
BACKGROUND: This invention came out of the consideration for automatically-guided-vehicular (AGV) loading of rolls of paper into printing presses (AGV). At this time (1966), the only significant consideration for AGV was to printing presses using 15 miles of paper every hour per roll and typically 12, 1 ton rolls per newspaper press every hour. This is the background of the inventor WALES. CROWLEY worked for ADAGE (the first Computer-Added-Design CAD solution) and was responsible for user interface such as light pens, EEG/EKG electrodes, optic nerve vision tracker and such, his first touch screen used PPG resist coated glass from a frost free cold drink retail case. The two inventors ended up working at Butler Automatic, who became the leader in automatic press splicing. Crowley and Wales design many industry first in the 80's. After Wales passed in 1991 ... Crowley continued and to this day, introducing many firsts in the industry as breakthrough products.