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Since the laser rangefinder works by reading its own reflected light,
any material that does not reflect light back to its source is bound
to be problematic. Some problematic materials are obvious: the metal
legs on desks and chairs that are painted glossy black and shiny metal
items that reflect light away, while ordinary walls reflect very well.
Several surprising materials exist (black velvet reflects quite
brightly back to the source). Plants, despite their green coloring,
reflect IR light quite well.
Lars S. Nyland