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Don't daze me, bro! Police experiment with non-lethal Dazer Laser

By

July 28, 2010

Dazer Laser at the Emmys... Because nothing says 'we're serious about non-lethal police we...

Dazer Laser at the Emmys... Because nothing says 'we're serious about non-lethal police weaponry' like getting a photo with the cast of 'Days of our Lives.'

Criminals across America could be just about to see the light… the Dazer Laser, a non-lethal weapon that shines disorienting, nauseating bursts of intense green laser light into a target's eyes, has gone into police trials across the Northern states. It's been shown to have no lasting effects, it's as easy to use as shining a flashlight in somebody's eyes, and it offers police the ability to temporarily blind a threat as they move to subdue it.

Anyone who's ever been out camping with an annoying younger brother will understand how distracting and disorienting it can be to have a bright light shone directly in your eyes – the Dazer Laser takes this effect to a whole new level.

It features a bright green laser beam that flashes and strobes in a way designed to cause maximum visual confusion, disorientation and even nausea – the theory being that when you shine one of these in the face of a wrongdoer, they're totally visually handicapped and lose the use of at least one arm as they try to shield their face from the light show.

The beam is so powerful that it's still effective through closed eyelids, and the nausea effect can last up to four hours after exposure – so while it's non-lethal, it's certainly very unpleasant.

Different Dazer Laser models can be ordered – the Guardian is a flashlight shaped device and the Defender is shaped like a handgun – and they're effective from a range of one meter (3.28 feet) to a staggering 2,400 meters (1.5 miles) for the top-level Defender model.

When you're not shining them on naughty faces, all models can be used as a bright and effective laser flashlight by switching them to 'search light' mode.

The Dazer Laser won't be sold to the general public – instead, Laser Energetics, the company responsible for the devices, is producing a limited run that is now being trialled by multiple police departments across the Northern United States. The technology is also being taken around the warfighter/special ops/counter terror expo circuit.

Similar technology has been used in the past, with a much more sinister effect – notably red/infrared lasers that were able not only to stun, but to temporarily and sometimes permanently blind the target. Using infra-red lasers, these 'laser blinders' directed seriously large amounts of energy into the retina without triggering the blink reflex. They could be mounted to trucks or tanks for access to heftier power sources, and used in conjunction with large sound generators as part of a crowd control strategy – the loud noise would draw the crowd's eyes toward the dazzler device, then the laser would be played across large sections of the crowd, blinding everyone looking that way.

But in this sort of use, it was very difficult to gauge how much energy to use – burning the retina like this there was a fine line between temporary and permanent blindness at the touch of a trigger. As a result, laser blinders were condemned by both the Red Cross and the United Nations, and are no longer used.

The green laser used in the Dazer Laser has been proven eye safe – tests have shown that using this longer wavelength there's no permanent damage done after exposure if the devices are used correctly.

There's no doubt an enemy that can't see you or look in your direction is at a severe disadvantage – the Dazer Laser seems to offer a significant advantage against an opponent that wants to stand and fight. It will be interesting to see how the police trials go, and whether the Dazer Laser ends up joining the Taser as a less-lethal enforcement option. At the very least, it'll make the average cop's equipment list sound a bit more like a Dr. Seuss poem.

Take a look at the promo video below to see the Dazer Laser incapacitating a number of unruly types.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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9 Comments

Terrible idea.

Who might be a victim of this technology

A bank teller

Bad drivers

Good drivers who piss off bad drivers

A quarterback who is about to cover the spread

The jackasses who invented this who have fat wallets

A park full of kids and parents

A victim of a crooked cop

a good cop coming to help

A Taiser had a cartridge to change, it needs proximity, it is limited in scope

I am guessing this technology could be used repeatedly used, scaled to extremes, could be used remotely and easy to conceal and replicate.

For the sake of humanity I hope this technology gets destroyed and those who know how it work are sworn maintain their silence.

This will be worse then asbestos and every other infamous scientific invention combined.

Michael Mantion
29th July, 2010 @ 09:35 am PDT

Something doesn't sound or look quite right here...

If it's so safe, why are most of the portrayed victims wearing some kind

of sunglasses? Are they protective lenses? Inquiring minds want to know :)

And, if the energy delivered at 300 or 2400 meters is enough to daze,

how dangerous is that same beam ... now "concentrated" ... at 10 to 30 meters?

Stan Sieler
29th July, 2010 @ 11:46 am PDT

I like the idea that it's not deadly force and I'm sure it will save lives, yet I'm wondering how long it will be before I see this in my eyes as I'm pulled over for speeding. In that scenario, I'd regard it as an assault. Most law enforcement personnel are quality people, yet there is a significant minority that are in the field because they are bullies or have deep seated abuse issues and you can be sure that these few will abuse this tool with sadistic enthusiasm. I'd like to see some strict policies with regards to when the use of the Dazer Lazer is allowed and serious repercussions for those who would abuse it.

Facebook User
29th July, 2010 @ 12:55 pm PDT

submit citizen submit safer eh? pavlov's dogs ... so in your face and still you sleep ...

go shopping citizen ...

hourglass
29th July, 2010 @ 07:12 pm PDT

how's about they give these to the perps, and leave real weapons to law enforcers?

John Flower
29th July, 2010 @ 11:35 pm PDT

I'm sure i missed it as I just skimmed through this, but does it work during the daytime?

Paul Anthony
30th July, 2010 @ 08:42 am PDT

I can see the immediate response of perps, (or innocent victims for that matter) should be to run. The spread of the beam looks to me just like red lasers and if so, you know it's coming because you can see the edge. Anlyway around that would be direct aim before turning it on. This could also be used defensively by the military to confuse the enemy while our fighting men slip away or redeploy or flank the enemy!

Will, the tink
5th August, 2010 @ 09:46 pm PDT

2400 meters = 1.5 miles .

Non-lethal crowd control using a blinding laser from 1.5 miles.

What self-respecting authoritarian regime wouldn't want one of these mounted on every helicopter!

(I'm looking at you, Egypt. Don't let those rabble rousing kids mess up your good thing.)

Josh Hyman
31st January, 2011 @ 05:24 am PST

Will, you are right, the military does use it as a distraction. It's used to keep the honest people honest, it is the step before the TAZER or baton in the escalation of force chain. It is designated to be only used against someone who is already armed and hostle. These don't work against a Mob, only the weapon throwers in the mob. This device only works on one person at a time.All law enforcement and military have to have less than lethal weapons used against them before they are issued to them. They shouldn't be pointed at a moving vehicle, it is already against the law to use a weapon on moving cars. The Energy loss of a LAZER is negligible so it isn't going to be deadly at 10 ft but safe at 300M, it is about the same, and yes I have had it tested on me at less than 10 ft. It isn't the LAZER it's self that is disarming, it is the fact that the flicker causes vertigo.Paul, Yes

Neal
20th February, 2011 @ 11:20 am PST
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