Would Darth Vader be just as powerful wielding a flashlight instead of his trusty lightsaber? Maybe not, but Homeland Security is hoping their experimental, lightsaber-inspired weapon — the LED (light-emitting diode) Incapacitator — will subdue criminals, terrorists, illegal immigrants and unruly airline passengers (no word on Rebel scum, however).
The device works by temporarily blinding and disorienting a person, says Bob Lieberman, president of Intelligent Optical. Once aimed at someone’s eyes, a series of light pulses and colors can be triggered and the subject’s eyes can’t adjust quickly enough to see. “It’s like someone shooting off a flashbulb in your face every few seconds,” Lieberman says. “Because of the wavelengths and frequencies we use, there are psychophysical effects — a real disorientation. The reaction can range through vertigo to nausea.”
What the flashlight-size device doesn’t do, however, is use lasers or permanently blind people, Lieberman says. In 1995, the United States signed on to a United Nations agreement that banned blinding weapons.
Read more about the LED Incapacitator here:
Is this a real-life ‘lightsaber?’