LED news and insight from our technology editor Steve Bush, who has been messing with LED lighting for more years than he would care to remember.
Stop or I’ll shoot …my LED gun!
When one of my friends told me that LEDs were now being used as a weapon to incapacitate suspects I was a little bit sceptical to say the least, or more truthfully I thought he should lay off the heavy stuff. However, I decided to do a quick Google search, more to shoot down his theory in flames than to see if it was true.
I was more than a bit surprised when I actually got some results.
It seems that high brightness LEDs are being strobed to disorientate suspects. The pulsing pattern and varying colours of the device temporarily blinds and nauseates the victim. This type of non-lethal is proving more effective than other forms of non-lethal incapacitor to neutralise suspects without any long-term effects.
A company called Intelligent Optical Systems based in Torrance, California have been awarded a $1m grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the concept further.
I think this is something that anyone designing LED systems should take a good look at – if you’d pardon the pun – as the last thing you’d want is to inadvertently release a puke-ray device onto the general market.
More info here http://science.howstuffworks.com/led-incapacitator.htm