Sunday, May 06, 2012

Company's 'LaserSaber' accessory turns its laser into 'working' lightsaber

Wicked Lasers, which earlier earned the wrath of LucasFilm for when it released a laser that was suspiciously similar to a Star Wars lightsaber in design, appears to be trying to irk the Star Wars franchise again.

The company has released a new $100 accessory, the LaserSaber, which attaches to the Spyder III-class green and blue lasers it already sells. The Spyder III series starts at $300, but you get a slight discount if you buy the LaserSaber and a Spyder III laser together.

How does it work? Obviously powering up the LaserSaber doesn't mean that suddenly a laser beam that can cut off an arm appears. Instead, the LaserSaber is a 32-inch polycarbonate wand and an aircraft-grade aluminum hilt, which screws into a Spyder III laser.

According to the company, the LaserSaber uses an "ultra smooth magnetic gravity system that can 'power up' and 'power down' the blade." In other words, the effect is that when you power on the lightsaber (let's be honest, now), it appears that a real lightsaber activates as the laser moves up the polycarbonate wand.

In 2010, LucasFilm issued a cease-and-desist order against the sale of the Spyder III Pro Arctic, which closely resembles a lightsaber, sans blade. LucasFilm eventually backed off the cease-and-desist order, which had to give Wicked Lasers confidence that nothing ill could come of the LaserSaber.

Of course, there is ill that could come to users of the LaserSaber, if they're not careful enough. The company warns that proper protective goggles should be worn when using the LaserSaber, and it also warns, in a demo video embedded below, that “these are not toys.”

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Still, the way the demo video shows off the LaserSaber, it seems clear that the device will be used as a toy, though perhaps with adult-aged kids.

It should be remembered that LaserSaber’s tube is made of 1/8-inch thick walled polycarbonate, which sounds safe enough. On the other hand, the Spyder III series lasers operate in a range of 50 milliwatts to a hopefully-you-can-see this-is-dangerous one watt of laser power. Remember: it's not a toy.

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