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Tag Archives: Lasers

Lightsaber Laser Pointers Are As Close As You’ll Get To The Real Thing

Star Wars Lightsaber Laser Pointer (Images courtesy ThinkGeek)
By Andrew Liszewski

They won’t slash, cut or burn anything, but these Star Wars themed laser pointers will do a damned good job at directing your co-workers’ attention to important points on your PowerPoint presentation at your next business meeting. They’re each just 4 inches long and modeled after the sabers carried by Vader and Darth Maul, making the red laser beams color-accurate for you particularly anal Star Wars fans, and they’re available from ThinkGeek for just $14.99 each.

[ Star Wars Lightsaber Laser Pointer ] VIA [ Craziest Gadgets ]

WTF Did I Just Watch?

By David Ponce

Here’s all I really know. There’s a laser. And it’s doing a pretty good job of following the contours of random Sharpie markings on a sheet of white paper. But then there’s some kind of sound mated to all the goings on. The YouTube page lists a bunch of people involved with what seems to be some kind of project… but details are scant.

It’s trippy, that’s for sure, which is why I’m writing about it. Lasers, some kind of software, trippy sounds… what’s not to like?

VIA [ Geekologie ]

Frolicat Bolt Takes The Effort Out Of Playing With Your Cat


By Chris Scott Barr

I have a cat, and like most other felines she loves laser pointers. I generally spend a little bit each day using it to drive her crazy. It really doesn’t take much effort, and it entertains me almost as much as it does her. However, if you don’t feel like putting all of the effort into waving you wrist around, you can get a device to do it for you.

The Frolicat Bolt is a laser pointer that moves around on its own. You can set it on a table (or any other surface really) and have it move the laser in a random pattern for 15 minutes, after which time it will automatically turn off. You can also put it on manual mode and use it like an ordinary pointer. If you’re too busy to keep up with your cat, you can pick one of these up for just $20.

[ Frolicat ] VIA [ CoolestGadgets ]

Laser Projector Resolution “Exceeds The Human Eye”


By Evan Ackerman

1080P is great and all, but if you can still tell that you’re watching something on TV, what’s the point? You might as well just go read a book or something. Evans & Sutherland (you know they’re cool because their domain name is has come out with a laser projector with a staggering 8000 x 4000 (32 megapixel) resolution, which they claim “exceeds the human eye,” meaning that their display is better than real life. Now, I have a whole raft of problems with their claim, but suffice it to say that they’ve got a pretty sharp display goin’ on. Plus, you know, lasers, man! Aside from being badass and potentially dangerous, lasers mean that colors are more accurate (up to twice as accurate as HDTV) and never shift and bulbs never need replacing.

The E&S Laser Projector was designed for military applications (i.e. simulators), and puts out 5000 lumens of brightness with 2500:1 contrast to match its impressive resolution. But with a price tag of of around $750,000, the only way you’re ever going to get to play with one is if you click here and then suffer through to the simulator bit.

[ E&S Laser Projector ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Afterglow System Lets You Doodle On PowerPoint Presentations With A Laser Pointer

Afterglow (Images courtesy Afterglow Inc.)
By Andrew Liszewski

Now here’s a clever idea. Afterglow is a simple system allowing you to annotate a PowerPoint presentation, or other projected imagery, with a standard laser pointer. It uses a USB camera (connected to the PC running the presentation) to track the motion of the laser dot, and the camera doesn’t even have to be setup near the projector since the Afterglow software can compensate for geometric distortion. The system even allows the laser pointer to control the cursor making it function like a mouse, so you don’t need access to the PC feeding the projector or a separate remote for controlling your presentation.

In fact, were it not for the $1,980 price tag, I would have said this is a must-have addition to any board or conference room.

[ Afterglow ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Laser-Equipped Putter Works On Your Short Game


By Luke Anderson

When I was a kid, I learned a valuable lesson. When you’re putting, all of the aiming in the world doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have a straight swing. Once I taught myself how to swing properly, I mastered the fine art of putt-putt. If your short-game needs some work (that is if you actually play real golf, I prefer to stick to courses with windmills and the like), perhaps the Argon Laser Putter can help you out.

This putter is strictly a tool for learning, as no amount of lasers are going to help you on a real green. The first dip in the ground will screw you up, not to mentioned you’ll get laughed off the course if you try to pull this out of your bag.  However, if you’re merely wanting to putt in a straight line, this will be a wonderful aide. It even includes a “Putting Dome” that lights up when you hit the ball dead center. Now getting the timing down on that windmill on the 9th hole, well that’s a different story. If you’ve got $70 burning a hole in your pocket and a bad short-game, then this is just what you need.

[ ArgonPutter ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

[CES 2009] Microvision Pico Projector Trumps All With Frikkin’ Lasers


By Evan Ackerman

At CES last year, we saw a prototype of Microvision’s PicoP miniature laser-based projector. Back then, I was told that the production version would most likely use LEDs, instead. I guess they decided that lasers would just be that much more awesome, because we got a look at the production version of the Microvision PicoP yesterday, and it’s absolutely laserriffic.


The PicoP uses red, green, and blue lasers to project a WVGA (848 x 480) 16:9 widescreen image with 10 lumens of brightness and a contrast ratio of better than 5,000 to 1. It was adequately bright under ambient show floor lightning, and substantially brighter than any of the other micro projectors we’ve seen this week. In a dark room it projects a tolerable image up to a staggering 100 inches, but the best part is that since it uses lasers, it’s always inherently in focus. This is an important feature, since the whole point of a micro projector is that you can whip it out and use it anywhere.

The PicoP uses an integrated battery that gives is approximately 2 hours per charge. There’s a proprietary input jack that will accept (through included adapters) composite video or VGA inputs. Look for it in Q2 of this year for about $500.

[ Microvision PicoP ]

Actual Laser Cannon Now Available (Just Not For You)

By Evan Ackerman

It’s not sexy, but here it is: a real live commercially produced laser cannon. The FIRESTRIKE system, by Northrop Grumman, is a 15 kW electric laser capable of firing continuously as long as it gets power and coolant. It’s even got en Ethernet connection, so you can zap people and surf the internet at the same time! If you’re really ambitious, you can couple up to seven of them together to make a 100 kW laser, which is just about the minimum you’d need for an effective combat system.

The downside is that each module is about 400 pounds, which unfortunately puts it well out of the handheld class. And I assume you can’t just pop a couple Duracells in there, nor does it appear to have a wall plug. But the worst part is that it’s just not evil looking. I mean, it’s a mostly featureless totally boring gray box. It really should be put inside a case that looks like something from Star Wars (the third one, with the stupidly high SFX budget), with some skull and crossbones decals on it and an absurdly gigantic barrel with lots of blinky LED lights and smoke machines and sound effects.

Oh well, I can’t find a price, and if I were Northrop Grumman, I definitely wouldn’t sell a tactical laser system to someone like me.

[ FIRESTRIKE ] VIA [ The Register ]

Flowlight Concept Might Be Lacking In Practical Applications, But I Still Want One

Flowlight (Images courtesy d-Vision Design)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m sure we’ve all seen those long-exposure photos where someone is writing or drawing in the air with an LED which produces cool looking streaks of light in the final shot. Well that’s basically the same idea behind the Flowlight concept, except that it happens in real time without the need for a camera. The base of the unit tracks the tip of a special pen as it moves through the air, and by focusing a laser beam 100 times a second where that tip is located, the Flowlight creates small plasma points that appear to hang and glow in mid-air. As the pen moves, the laser creates a series of plasma points which are close enough together to look like glowing streaks. While the d-Vision Design website suggests the technology could be used in various applications from medicine to architecture, I don’t think it will be replacing the traditional whiteboard for sketching out ideas anytime soon. (Sadly.)

[ d-Vision Design Flowlight ] VIA [ DVICE ]