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UK Police Test 'Temporarily Blinding' LASER

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the for-sufficiently-permanent-values-of-temporary dept.

Shark 398

esocid writes "Called the SMU 100 it costs £25,000 and sends out a three-meter 'wall of light' that leaves anyone caught in it briefly unable to see. Designed by a former Royal Marine Commando, it was originally developed for use against pirates in Somalia. While tasers and CS gas work well over short distances the laser is said to be effective at up to 500 meters (1,640ft). Being targeted by the beam has been compared to staring into the sun before being forced to turn away. Paul Kerr, managing director of Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems, which came up with the design, said 'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.'"

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What is with the UK and all this surveillance and (5, Funny)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360762)

hi-tech human abuse?

Yes, point lasers at me and blind me. That's really healthy. Why does all these news always come from UK?

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38360814)

Mostly because the other places that test this first don't let the reports out.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361426)

Let me guess....

Normal civilians are prohibited from owning and using these devices ....?

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360838)

Yes, point lasers at me and blind me. That's really healthy

Although I am pretty sure this goes against a Geneva convention this is healthier for you than high speed lead.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (5, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360972)

Right. If the police aren't allowed to use this laser then they will have to shoot protesters. There is just no other way.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361164)

Don't be stupid, the British police cannot shoot unarmed people, this isn't America where a cop can shoot anyone for any reason they feel like.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361236)

Unless they're running for a train in London...

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (5, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361254)

If only there was list of fatal shootings by the British police [wikipedia.org] out there that could dispel your ignorance...

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361302)

You are a fool if you think the following are true:

A. The police in the United Kingdom and the United States (and anywhere else) are never justified in employing lethal force against unarmed people (although the bar is REALLY high),

B. The police in the United Kingdom are better than the police in the United States. They are no better or worse (though the bobbies have a far spiffier uniform)

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (2)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361314)

Let me be the person that says it..
*WHOOSH!!*

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361212)

They have guns in the UK?

I thought they only used those toy sticks and ran after people like in Benny Hill shows.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361342)

They run around like that, just with tiny pistols.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361214)

Right. If the police aren't allowed to use this laser then they will have to shoot protesters. There is just no other way.

Society under surveillance, blinded by the Met ... how much longer before V becomes reality?

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361448)

V...You mean the alien reptilian occupation? Led by the call girl from the Companion House Madrassa...I will be first in line.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361308)

Considering no other non-lethal has this range, and it is to be deployed by the military, yes this is an alternative to a bullet.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361408)

Yea, and that's fine if they actually only used it in place of bullets. But that's not how these things work - before long, they always end up using them to replace stern words. See: pepper spray, for a recent high-profile example.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (-1, Flamebait)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361000)

This. Because rather than the establishment finally admitting that Enoch Powell was right, they are praying for a magical technological solution that will put an end to future riots. A high tech band-aid in other words.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361030)

Geneva convention only applies to international wars, sadly not your own citizens.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361038)

Nobody nukes a country, but plenty people die everyday in "armed conflicts". The less consequential you make your weapon without losing the effect, the more likely it's going to be used. Crowd control weapons will be used against us, people.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (4, Insightful)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361190)

UK citizens should build their own and point them at all the cameras. Instant privacy.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361394)

Yes, point lasers at me and blind me. That's really healthy

Although I am pretty sure this goes against a Geneva convention this is healthier for you than high speed lead.

which means they will use this "harmless" weapon without hesitation in situations where they previously wouldn't use any more force than handcuffs. back when all they had was a gun and a baton they tended not to pull a weapon unless you did first. we've seen this now with pepper spray, tazers, etc. the less lethal they are the more quickly they get pulled out.

remember that asshole lieutenant cop who gleefully pepper sprayed lots of peaceful protestors at once? he could try to make an excuse for that, at least if he weren't caught on video being such a dick. he would have had no excuse for gunning down these unarmed people in cold blood. that would have resulted in him on trial for murder and selfish pricks like him look after "Number One" better than that. that's why he didn't use his gun. but now he has neat little "relatively harmless" pain-compliance type of weapons at his disposal that don't produce pesky dead bodies that must be explained away.

they are becoming less and less like peace officers and more and more like militarized thugs every day. this is what you want? more toys for them? if you weren't such a simpleton you would understand why new weapons like this make the situation worse, not better.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361466)

Yes, point lasers at me and blind me. That's really healthy

Although I am pretty sure this goes against a Geneva convention this is healthier for you than high speed lead.

Thats the next step, after we get used to this.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361180)

hi-tech human abuse?

Yes, point lasers at me and blind me. That's really healthy. Why does all these news always come from UK?

Dunno why they don't just use flashbulbs.

"Smile! You're under arrest!"

Does give a whole new meaning to Legally Blind, Blind Justice and Shedding a little light on the Crime.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (1, Funny)

ark1 (873448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361276)

Dunno why they don't just use flashbulbs.

"Smile! You're under arrest!"

Does give a whole new meaning to Legally Blind, Blind Justice and Shedding a little light on the Crime.

No one wants to see a British smile.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (3, Funny)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361310)

hi-tech human abuse?

I wouldn't call UK police hi-tech humans, though.

Re:What is with the UK and all this surveillance a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361360)

Hi-tech? More like barbarian-tech. When they invent a laser that makes people fall to their knees and weep at the beauty of nature's intricate system of laws, then I'll call it hi-tech.

Reflection? (5, Interesting)

ark1 (873448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360818)

I'm sure someone will figure out a way to reflect (mirror?) back to the source.

Re:Reflection? (3, Interesting)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360938)

"I'm sure someone will figure out a way to reflect (mirror?) back to the source."

I guess this means mirrored sunglasses are going to make a comeback. Or did they already? I don't pay attention to fashion.

Re:Reflection? (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361246)

"I'm sure someone will figure out a way to reflect (mirror?) back to the source."

I guess this means mirrored sunglasses are going to make a comeback. Or did they already? I don't pay attention to fashion.

Why, they'll be banned like the hoody!

'ere, e's wearin' mirrors an' a hoody. Bloody terrorist is what 'e is!

Re:Reflection? (4, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361034)

I'm sure someone will figure out a way to reflect (mirror?) back to the source.

Source the to back (mirror?) reflect to way a out figure will someone sure I'm.

Re:Reflection? (2)

wervr (712696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361036)

or focus it back into the source.

Re:Reflection? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361142)

> I'm sure someone will figure out a way to reflect (mirror?) back to the source.

Yep. and make it a parabolic reflector at that. Increase the intensity many-fold.

Re:Reflection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361182)

Doubtful....

Beam reflections are dangerous because (I was just reading about this last night actually) being collimated, the beam divergence is very small. So, unlike normal light sources, where there is a simple inverse square law, laser light goes out in a tight cone.

It really blows my mind what cost they can put on this.... I thought of the same freaking device not too long ago (actually.... research on it was WHY I was reading up last night on laser light and eye damage). All you need to do is adjust the collimating lens so that you get a very wide cone, rather than a very steep one. In fact, you should be able to adjust the cone easily to deliver a fairly uniform "wall" of light of a specific intensity at a specific distance.

Aside from worries about messing up on the power and dangers of actual testing, I think I could build a dirt simple prototype for all of $50.

The really cool advanced version? Sure, we are talking time to develop and test etc.... but 25k....each? Somebody has some public money dollar signs in their eyes.

Re:Reflection? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361398)

I'm thinking more along the lines of sunglasses that work specifically at the frequencies put out by this device.

least-worst alternative (2)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360820)

I'd rather be lasered in the face than gassed or shot with bean bags or beaten. As long as the thing is not attached to a giant shark.

Re:least-worst alternative (5, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361376)

I'd rather be lasered in the face than gassed or shot with bean bags or beaten

The mistake is thinking this is an either-or situation. First they blind you, then they beat the shit out of you. Now you can't ID which ones assaulted you even if you could get a criminal case going against them.

are you suuuuure? (2)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361434)

You sure about that?

Lasers are pretty dangerous. Look at what happens with lasers not even designed to blind people: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/2403814/Russian-concert-laser-show-blinds-30.html [telegraph.co.uk] . Now you're going to trust something stronger in the hands of police and government? I got a bridge to sell you...

I see a market for... (1)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360824)

Light seeking missiles.

Re:I see a market for... (1)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360852)

Or just an increase in the sale of mirrors.

Re:I see a market for... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361198)

Or auto-dimming welder's masks. Maybe paint a Guy Fawkes face on it.

Well now (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360828)

If you can't please people: blind them.

Re:Well now (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361114)

It would be fun to enjoy this while being treated to the sound cannon. Watch out, occupy, next up is the "smell launcher" and the "taste catapult".

Re:Well now (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361200)

If you can't please people: blind them.

Well, yeah, the Geneva Convention [wikipedia.org] doesn't apply to citizens, only enemy troops.

Seriously, though - the US is smashing protests with riot police and trying to do away with habeus corpus, the UK is turning blinding weapons on its citizens, the rest of Europe has a lit fuse in its fiscal powder keg - maybe "business as usual" has run its course.

Re:Well now (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361322)

If you can't please people: blind them.

Then there's collateral damage, the innocents caught in the line of fire sort of thing, as people cannot resist looking at an incident...

Nothing to see here, move on .. oh, right...

seems like a really bad idea (1)

eudas (192703) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360856)

Isn't the use of lasers for blinding enemy personnel against the Geneva Convention? What makes it sound like a good idea for use on your own Citizens if you can't use it against enemy infantry? Not to mention the lawsuits resulting from failures that wind up permanently blinding people.

What a bad idea.

Re:seems like a really bad idea (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360944)

[citation needed] where in the GC does it talk about blinding lasers? does it make a distinction between "stunned" temporary blindness and permanent blindness?

Re:seems like a really bad idea (4, Informative)

eudas (192703) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361094)

Primary source:
http://www.un.org/millennium/law/xxvi-18-19.htm [un.org]

And, links to the wikipedia articles (if that's not considered too circular):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_Certain_Conventional_Weapons [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_on_Blinding_Laser_Weapons [wikipedia.org]

Re:seems like a really bad idea (5, Informative)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361158)

Blinding laser weapons are specifically mentioned in the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons annex of the Geneva Conventions.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_on_Blinding_Laser_Weapons [wikipedia.org]

And yes, it does make a specific distinction between temporary and permanant blindness, so this thing is almost certainly legal as far as this particular protocol goes.

I should point out though, that the UK police have never even resorted to using water cannons outside of Northern Ireland, and use of riot equipment is a very serious political issue here. Breaking out the doom rays on a crowd of protestors is not going to happen lightly, and if it did happen, it would not be brushed off or ignored afterwards.

Re:seems like a really bad idea (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361010)

Permanent blinding is against the Geneva convention. Temporary blinding ('dazzling' seems to be the polite term) is just ducky. As is accidental blinding that occurs as a side effect of lasers used for some other purpose.

In any case, though, riot cops aren't bound by the convention, so it ends up being largely a matter of what they can get away with vs. what lawsuits make too expensive...

Re:seems like a really bad idea (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361138)

Geneva Convention only applies to people you're at war with, not your own citizens.

Re:seems like a really bad idea (1)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361282)

What if the protests are considering it to be a civil war? Then does the Geneva Convention kick in?

Re:seems like a really bad idea (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361442)

Eddie Izzard said it best:

And he [Hitler] was a mass-murdering fuckhead, as many important historians have said. But there were other mass murderers that got away with it! Stalin killed many millions, died in his bed, well done there; Pol Pot killed 1.7 million Cambodians, died under house arrest at age 72, well done indeed! And the reason we let them get away with it is because they killed their own people, and we're sort of fine with that. “Ah, help yourself,” you know? “We've been trying to kill you for ages!” So kill your own people, right on there. Seems to be Hitler killed people next door... “Oh stupid man!” After a couple of years, we won't stand for that, will we?

Pol Pot killed 1.7 million people. We can't even deal with that! You know, we think if somebody kills someone, that's murder, you go to prison. You kill 10 people, you go to Texas, they hit you with a brick, that's what they do. 20 people, you go to a hospital, they look through a small window at you forever. And over that, we can't deal with it, you know? Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going, "Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning. I can't even get down the gym! Your diary must look odd: “Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death – lunch- death, death, death -afternoon tea - death, death, death - quick shower"

I don't have a problem with this (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360862)

Unless, of course, you're also going to be revved up like a deuce (or wrapped up like a douche).

Re:I don't have a problem with this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361350)

Just wait until the police have to explain why the calliope crashed to the ground!

Did you see the image? (2)

eexaa (1252378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360866)

Why does it look like a (laser) sniper rifle?

One thing not do do (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360878)

Just don't let it be used by the traffic police!

What a waste! (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360882)

Why not just project goatse images to make everyone close their eyes?

DD (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360892)

Tell that to DareDevil

New vital pirate gear... (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360916)

Large mirror. Optionally, parabolic.

Re:New vital pirate gear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361096)

Not parabolic, you want a retroreflector. It will return the light straight back to the source regardless of the alignment of the retroreflector.

I think you mean "temporarily" blinding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38360918)

I want this guy to tour the device and to expose himself to it like he means to attack something every day for a year. If he comes away without permanent damage from that, then he can sell the device.

This shit would be illegal in warfare, but I guess we'll allow it in the hands of private corporations to defend our precious fossil fluids.

If you can't look at something you can't attack it (4, Informative)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360928)

I think suicide bombers would disagree.

Re:If you can't look at something you can't attack (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361344)

As well as pretty much every COD player.

Flashbang = fire wildly in all directions.

Re:If you can't look at something you can't attack (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361446)

That's the real point - if you can't target something accurately, you resort to methods that are considered cowardly, or to area affect weapons - not just suicide vests, but grenades or rockets, or shooting the friend of the guy with the laser gadget, or shooting the guy himself after he has gone to bed for the evening. There's some sort of weird stupidity from the people buying these items for governments, so they believe all the hype about new gadgets, and don't ask what happens when the problem tries to route around it.

Laugh 25k (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360930)

Slips on my $9.99 mirrored shades.

'If you can't look at something you can't attack.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38360932)

it"

Yeah, but if you have a crowd of blind and panicing protesters that's really safe.

All that will happen is that malicious (or intelligent, depending on your point of view) people will try to stampede blind protesters into the cops, in the hopes that the cops will start shooting. A lot of people will get hurt.

Re:'If you can't look at something you can't attac (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361372)

Zatoichi.

Famous last words (1)

NNUfergs (1794256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360942)

'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.' ...Famous last words.

Re:Famous last words (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361294)

'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.' ...Famous last words.

Exactly.

Last time I checked, a heat seeking missile deployment vehicle doesn't come with it's own ophthalmologist. There are obviously other ways to "see" your target.

Glasses? (2)

Banichi (1255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360952)

Is there any sort of eye protection for laser weapons like this that can be made inexpensively, for use by protesters and the like?

Something less unwieldy than welding glass, perhaps tuned to the laser's spectrum?

Re:Glasses? (2)

Imagix (695350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361054)

Or polarized lenses tuned to the frequency. If you're handling even slightly higher powered lasers, they're a must-have.

Re:Glasses? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361260)

Is there any sort of eye protection for laser weapons like this that can be made inexpensively, for use by protesters and the like?

Something less unwieldy than welding glass, perhaps tuned to the laser's spectrum?

Sure, I'm certain something can be made, but the instant this "weapon" turns into a Government contract, expect the price tag on that solution to increase by about 10,000%, so "inexpensively" kind of goes out the door...

Newest trend on Amazon (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360960)

Just like baseball bats became a huge trend on Amazon during the UK riots, something tells me mirrored sunglasses may be the next big purchasing trend in the UK.

We'll see how long this lasts... (2)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360962)

Past the first person with eye problems (particularly photosensitive people) being blinded permanently....

As long as tasers have lasted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361084)

Past the first fatality. Western governments have decided to remind populaces that we are property to be used and abused in any way they feel like.

Shot Permanently (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361496)

Past the first person with eye problems (particularly photosensitive people) being blinded permanently....

It could be worse, they could be permanently shot.

Future use: (1)

godglike (643670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360980)

Used to stop speeding driver in 10, 9, 8,...

One word (1)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 2 years ago | (#38360982)

Mirrors.

Re:One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361154)

Two Words - Sun Glasses

food for thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38360996)

SMU 100: $38732.50
mirror: $1

Re:food for thought... (2)

Wandering Voice (2267950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361470)

prism turning their lazer into Rainbows: $ Priceless

Soylent Green (2)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361014)

Wouldn't it be easier just to deploy those bulldozer thingies? Why beat around the bush?

Because..... (2)

CimmerianX (2478270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361134)

This will be very popular because blind people are sooooo much easier to hit with a baton.

Most badass criminals wear sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361150)

So as soon as the police roll this out, sunglasses will become as standard as a knife for a criminal. :)

I wonder is an auto welder's mask would work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361166)

Would be funny if it did!

Easy countermeasures (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361192)

aaannd... now that I know about this, I'll just put some cheap flip-up dark filter glass on my piratical AK's scope, and now I have a convenient aim point, even if I couldn't otherwise see you!

Wavelength? (1)

zmooc (33175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361202)

What is the wavelength of this laser? And were do I buy glasses? Thanks.

They already have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361230)

stuff like this, I'm not sure how similar the situations are when they use them I guess that's the big deal? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stun_grenade

nice (3, Funny)

MagicM (85041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361250)

So it's like a flashbang [wikipedia.org] but without the bang. That seems kind of... HOLY CRAP IT LOOKS LIKE A SNIPER RIFLE I WANT ONE!

Welding goggles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361252)

So, how long do you think it'll take for them to realize that a welding mask works pretty well as defense?

Re:Welding goggles. (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361416)

have you tried doing anything OTHER than welding while wearing a welding mask?
It virtually blinds you.

Retroreflector Sunglasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361268)

That's what you'll need to wear.

and the countermeasures cost $9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38361312)

Yeah, and it's going to take like a week for someone to come up with LCD sunglasses to counteract this laser.

Question (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361368)

Does it work against unmanned Predator drones?

If so, put me down for half a dozen.

Because ... (1)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361370)

... protesters don't have sunglasses? Well that's all right then.

This seems pitifully useless... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361418)

This seems like a terribly ill-thought-out scheme(except in that it might succeed in separating some police departments from rather a lot of the public's money, in exchange for a slightly more rugged version of a standard green laser, in a butch sci-fi plastic rifle case...)

Unless the laser is a tightly focused dot(in which case it won't be much use against a crowd) its intensity will vary rapidly with distance. In order to not be a complete toy at operationally useful ranges, it will very likely be downright dangerous at closer ones. Luckily, cops are technical experts and models of restraint, so that won't prove to be a problem.

In a similar vein, since lasers are a reasonably common occupational/hobby hazard these days, laser-protective eyewear, designed for strong attenuation of the common laser type of your choice, with minimal impact on general vision, is cheap and readily available. In order to have any effect on somebody wearing such, you'd likely need alarmingly higher power levels than you would need to have the same effect on an unshielded subject. So, either ~$20 eyewear gains you immunity to this fancy tech toy, or this fancy tech toy is powerful enough to stun protected users and fry retinas on everybody else. Brilliant.

If you can't look at something you can't attack it (2)

s1d3track3D (1504503) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361438)

really!?

That's the logic?

What about if someone has a gun, they may just start firing towards the general direction of the blinding light, hitting innocent bystanders,...

To every invention there is a counter (1)

KDN (3283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38361444)

If I remember correctly, air force pilots used to have special googles that could turn opaque very rapidly to protect the pilots' eyes from optical damage from nuclear blasts. I wonder if such technology could be adapted to protect against such light dazzler devices.
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