Compassionate laser alarm: 'Less lethal'

'Portal Denial System' fires laser-induced plasma beams

It's one of the most worn-out cliches of all action movies: the laser beam alarm system. But if they've been around for so long, why they haven't become household staples in today's security-obsessed society?

The latest example comes from Arizona-based company Ionatron and its "Portal Denial System" (sounds so RoboCop). Created for the U.S. government, it fires a stream of "laser-induced plasma" across any entryway, though SCI FI Tech says the operator has the option of making it lethal or "less lethal." Come to think of it, maybe it's not such a good idea to have these on the consumer market after all.

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by Bridget Carey