LaserSaber: The Real-Life Lightsaber

LaserSaber: The Real-Life Lightsaber

The force is strong with this entrepreneur. Wicked Lasers CEO Steve Liu and his team have created the LaserSaber, a real-life lightsaber that echoes the galactic adventures of “Star Wars” films past. The 32-inch LaserSaber is a polycarbonate that serves as an attachment for Wicked Laser’s Spyder 3 series. Other creations from the Wicked Lasers team include the S3 Krypton laser, whose light is powerful enough to be seen from up to 85 miles away. The company also gained some notable exposure earlier this week when it attached lasers to shark fins off the coast of the Bahamas, finally fulfilling the fantasies of Dr. Evil in “Austin Powers”.

Liu and his crew went through some turbulence before the LaserSaber or Spyder 3 were able to see the light of day. In 2010, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm sent Wicked Lasers a cease and desist letter, on the grounds that the product was too dangerous and too similar to its film counterpart. They later backed off from the lawsuit.

The LaserSaber will be a $100 add on to the $300 Spyder series, which according to the sales pitch features "an ultrasmooth magnetic gravity system that can 'power up' and 'power down' the blade."

In an email to Wired, Liu explained the inner workings of the blade: “The laser energy that enters the LaserSaber is first diffused by a built-in optical element. Then the diffused laser enters the internal diffuser tube, which distributes the laser’s energy evenly along the blade. Inside the diffuser tube, there’s a metal sphere that’s suspended permanently inside. This sphere’s movement, caused by gravity, creates the beam-grow effects. There’s a magnet hidden in the tip of the blade, which causes the ball to magnetically lock in place. The magnetic lock can be disengaged by bumping the S3 laser with sufficient force.”

Much like an apprentice Jedi though, one must be careful with the opportunities for fun that the laser provides. Though Wicked Lasers openly advertises the dangers associated with the product, concerns were raised over the Spyder 3’s Arctic laser and how it could cause blindness, skin burns or fires. The LaserSaber and Spyder 3 come with protective glasses that must be worn while using the laser in order to protect your eyes from possible damage.

"All laser products manufactured by Wicked Lasers, Ltd., have been placed on FDA's Import Alert list because they pose a significant public health risk," said FDA spokesperson Daniel Hewitt, who serves as the Health Promotion Officer for their electric products branch. "They also pose a significant threat of misuse that can be prosecuted under federal, state or local law."

UPDATE: A statement from the FDA has been added.

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