Blue "Lightsaber" Laser Can Blind, Burn Flesh, and Costs Only $200

spyder-laser

That little hunk of frost-coated hardware in the photo is the Spyder III Pro Arctic blue handheld laser. It's being marketed as the closest thing to real-life Star Wars lightsaber ever. Because this $200 piece of Chinese gear can fry your retinas.

The product's sales spiel is pretty no-nonsense: "For the first time in history, direct blue laser diodes have now become available in the consumer market. The laser powered home theater projector is the first of a large family of audio and video media technology to feature direct blue diodes. Wicked Lasers took the direct blue laser diode components and made the world's first 445nm direct blue diode laser, the Arctic." Fascinating. And for those scientists among you it'll be doubly interesting, as the race to make cheap portable direct blue lasers has been long and hugely complicated—the physics of them has always seemed to be frustrating. Blue lasers are what make Blu-ray players work, and they're important because the shorter wavelength of the blue light versus red or infrared lasers means you can focus the laser to a smaller spot: This gives Blu-rays their much higher data density than DVDs or CDs.

lasers

In the case of the Spyder III, the blue light is more of a fun sales pitch—emphasizing the cool, blue light instead of garden-variety red or even the increasingly common green lasers on the market. The question, of course, is, what exactly will be the Spyder's targets? If you're talking about putting a spot on screen during a PowerPoint presentation, you'd probably be able to do that with the Spyder from the next country over. The device is touted as being "4000% brighter than the Sonar's 405nm violet beam" and while this is a tad misleading, since the wavelength and brightness aren't tied, what is important is how intense the Spyder actually is. It's a Class iV laser product, which means it technically needs to be slapped with a yellow warning label that reads "Laser radiation. Avoid eye or skin exposure to direct or scattered radiation." I used to use a desktop Class IV laser for experiments, and after seeing some laser injuries I was petrified of the thing—they can burn your skin and blind you by scarring your retina really easily, in some cases by indirect reflections off a matte surface.

And for those of you who remember the spate of laser dazzling incidents, with people firing them into the cockpits of airliners on final approach to airports (one was in the news as recently as April, with a guy trying to distract the pilot of a police helicopter) your level of worry will now certainly be elevated: Those lasers could merely dangerously dazzle pilots for a brief instance, these could blind. Permanently.

Oh, and if you need some more pointers on what this laser can be used for, check out the promotional video:

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13 Comments

  • Saleth

    What is the laserlight length and also tell me from where i can buy this? Is it available in the India markets?

  • Spam

    No way man, that was totally for real. Like, my cousin said his friend totally did the same thing to his friend's car with one.

  • DavidPun

    I don't see a whole spate of accidents being reported with these things. You'll probably find that alcohol kills a lot more people, you are more likely to be injured in your car, and how this compares with owning a gun is a good question.

  • Rio VonWulf

    How irresponsible. This is weapons grade. Worse the ad is not serious enough. Next it will be phasers that some idiot will think is funny. Until they are hurt.

  • Typical

    Guns do more damage and people sell guns on every corner, even pawn shops man. Really? Go get your panties in a wad somewhere else. Your ignorance hurts my eyes.

  • XSportSeeker

    People selling this thing to a major crowd must be stopped right now.
    We're talking accidents here, which is already a major problem with regular lasers, but just think about the implications this could have in the hands of people who have the intention to hurt as many as they can.
    If this thing is set loose out there, we're looking at the beginning of a modern warfare.
    Glasses and clothing that protects people from this laser will have to be made for tons of people out there, and it'll probably be done after the first major accidents happens, because it'll be too late to go back.
    Maybe I'm going a bit on the alarmist side here, but am I?

  • disapointed in XSportSeeker

     Oh no you're not being an alarmist. You're just stupid, really really really, ..REALLY.. STUPID. And maybe a lil bit alarmist. Mostly Stupid.

  • Common_Sense

     are you serious? you dont actually believe the video of the car blowing up was real  do you? really?? wow.

  • cantbelievewhatijustread

    FUCKING LAWL. I don't normally comment on things, or reply to comments, or get involved at all. But WOW. The explosion just LOOKED fake first of all. I did that shit in the tenth grade with adobe. Not pickin on the video, although it was not well made. No, Its about the moronic reactions to it.  I'm sorry but it is embarrassing that people believed that. Its astonishing. But even more so that they thought a 16 year old kid could just casually buy a "weapon" like that. A weapon that can start a "modern warfare," which is a phrase that doesn't even make sense in that context because it is clearly not a noun. And if that "super powered laser" that would basically be an attempt at a light saber from star wars would "bring war to a modern point," what the fuck is it called right now? With all the predator drones and guided missiles and nukes, and all the unbelievably high-tech equipment we already have, not to mention all the laser systems and all their various uses and strengths that we already have, even back in 2010, why the hell would that, (for lack of a better word) "dangerous TOY" be the "beginning of a 'Modern Warfare'? " OH, AND if that little laser pointer could somehow ignite a tire and the asphalt around it with no other combustibles,  what makes you think a pair of glasses and some clothes would do? And I'm directing all this to XSportSeeker, mainly, but the other stupid ones as well, and yes I am being a dick and subtly insulting your intelligence. Except I lied, its blatant. AND, yes i hope at some point he/she/they see(s) this, although they probably won't. Sadly.