back to article US firm says handheld puke ray is ready to go

A US industrial laser company says it has developed a functional puke-ray system, ideal for use by cops or military personnel wishing to take down their opponents without shooting them. The firm proposes to issue the "non lethal light fighting technology" in two form factors - light-sabre/torch and blaster-pistol. The so- …


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  1. Matthew Ellen

    counter measures

    Surely just wear glasses that block out that frequency of light...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I'm the one...

    ...causing mahem with my red lens sunglasses....

  3. Dan Sunderland

    Waiting for Transmetropolitan poop ray now...

    Wahey we must be less than ten years away from a Spider Jerusalem style crap your pants device now- Turn it all the way up to "anal volcano"!

  4. Test Man

    Re: counter measures

    And seeing as you're such an expert, how would they construct a pair of glasses that would block out that particular "frequency" and just happen to know that this particular brand of cops would be using it instead of a real gun?

  5. Karim Bourouba

    @ Matthew Ellen

    Hmm, do you really think that a company making a product like this will not have thought about rotating the frequency upon which the puke ray is transmitted?

    A more interesting question would be "what happens when the puke ray gets accidnetally reflected onto an innocent bystander?".

  6. Lionel Baden

    secret defense !

    Eyelids !!!!!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    how do you get to high tech puke ray, from what is essentially shining a light in someone's eyes?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    An even more interesting question...

    ... would be what would happen if this were used in a crowded hall of mirrors?

  9. Jaap Stoel

    Instant diet

    Will happen to any innocent bystanders. Har Har Har.

  10. Gerard Krupa

    In the wrong hands...

    We already have Mr and Mrs Chav's young offspring shining green laser pens into the eyes of any random passing pilot or bus driver. Can't wait to see the effect when they're hanging from an overpass on the M1 blasting these at passing drivers. Lethal vs non-lethal is a matter of where you aim it.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Sick stick

    Sounds like a Minority Report style Sick Stick.

  12. h4rm0ny
    Paris Hilton

    Lower the bar...

    I have the same problem with this that I do with tasers. Because it is non-lethal, it is presented to people as okay to use. It's just another means for people to physically hurt you with less consequence to themselves. "Pain compliance" as the police call it: hurt someone until they obey.

    Paris, because I need someone to make me smile with stories like this.

  13. Stephen Gray
    Thumb Down

    @Karim Bourouba

    Err too much Star Trek mate, if the frequency is changed it would'nt work as it would appear to be frequency specific

  14. Dan

    2,400 metres?!

    Who on earth needs to make me throw up from nearly 2.5 kms away?!

    Anyway, isn't this a bit similar to, for example, watching Jason (of 'and the argonauts' fame - remember that?) fight medusa?! Or, the ace 'Blink' episode of Dr Who?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    They've used these for years!

    Watch any crowd spill from a British pub at closing time, loads of people may be seen staggering and puking everywhere....obviously some evil genius at work...

  16. DavCrav

    A few problems...

    1) These are going to end up in other people's hands, and then this will be fun, because we'll have people making others puke up from a mile away. There'll be no way to find out who it is.

    2) Innocent bystanders? If this has to hit eyes, then it either has to be very accurate or have a wide dispersion field.

    3) Sunglasses/spectacles/goggles? What do they do to this. If the glass in spectacles causes a refraction, is that going to seriously mess up this device, perhaps turning it into a blinding ray? My bet is research not done.

    4) This will be a new (and quite untraceable since it leaves no output) way for the police to torture people. Anyone who thinks they won't use it to do that should read about the way the police act, in news stories for example.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephen Gray

    I don't think the device relies too much on a specific frequency of light; but more like a frequency of light pulses (akin to a strobe light maybe?).

    Anyway, now you've mentioned Star Trek "set your phasers to puke!"

  18. peter garner

    In today's Police State Britain...

    @Karim Bourouba

    .. there is no longer such a thing as an innocent bystander - just go to any (legal) protest carrying a camera and you'll find out..

  19. Charles

    @Lionel Baden

    If the device is anything like previous generations of dazzlers, they work upon green wavelengths (because human eyes are particularly perceptive to them) and probably of enough intensity that they can at least be noticeable even with eyelids shut (much like staring into the sun with eyes shut).

  20. Ian Ferguson

    I'm sure this has been tested before

    "the threats vision is temporarily impaired, their balance is effected, and they become affected by nausea"

    I'm pretty sure I was an unwilling test subject at 2am, the 1st of January 2009, in central London :(

  21. Richard


    Does this cause seizures? If so, it could still be fatal.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Frequency blocking won't work

    Light frequencies simply mean colour.

    It would be easy to block whatever frequency being used using simple colour filters, it would be a piece of piss. If this tech became commmonplace, so would an easy to manufacture countermeasure.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC (@Stephen Gray)

    The article does say that it's green. That's a specific frequency (range) of light. Also, I don't believe they've invented multi-coloured lasers yet.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    effective alternative to real bullets?

    another long-distance intimidation tool, a non-lethal crowd control alternative in addition to all the others already out there. consider these implemented by the rozzers at your next 'peaceful' demonstation/riot, mixed with the standard mace, batons, tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, attack dogs, horses and maybe other future microwave/sonic/dizzy/burny/puke rays...

  25. Lloyd
    Thumb Down


    What happens if you run away? I.e. Turn your back to the beam?

  26. peter

    Hope they fixed the problem from 2007

    "There have been efforts to make dazzlers using lasers, but LEDs could be a safer choice. "Getting an eye-safe wavelength with a laser has been very difficult," Shwaery says. Because laser beams are energetic and focused, they could cause permanent damage to the eye."

    This is the old vomit flashlight using lasers instead, hopefully without blinding some of the people.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blind people

    What if they run into a crowd of rowdy blind folks?

  28. Tom

    Too deniable

    What's to stop over-zealous police from using it when it's not really called for and then just denying it? They could make someone puke and there would be no evidence that they did it.

  29. Will


    If it truely is a laser based product then polaroid glasses would sort this out as the beam will be polarised to a vertical or horizontal plane.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Green lasers

    are normally visible in daylight (far better than red ones used by police attached to MP5's).

    Also, the military safety glasses (normal or rubber band style) are normally laser safe so would block this as well (laser's from red to blue use a wide frequency range and they are all blocked).

    So, can't use it on a US military uprising then......

    Speaking of uprising...

  31. Michael Miller

    How much does it cost?

    I could have sooooo much fun with this!

  32. Anonymous Coward

    the very idea of this

    makes me wanna puke

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great fun @ airports

    title says all

  34. Jacob Lipman


    There's already a readily-adaptable countermeasure in existence. Welders have used auto-darkening hoods for ages, there's no reason why the technology can't be adapted for use in something the size of a pair of sunglasses. Hell, there's half the countermeasure you need to defeat a flashbang grenade. The other half? Headphones with microphones that cut out over a certain decibel range (these already exist and are used commonly for hunting).

    If these things get made, they will primarily be used either by law enforcement to torture innocents, or by assholes who see that they are for sale to anyone, to torture innocents. Feh.

  35. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    I really think

    "Hmm, do you really think that a company making a product like this will not have thought about rotating the frequency upon which the puke ray is transmitted?"

    Yes, I do. I think they made it work one way and didn't worry their pretty little heads about anyone who would work around it technically. This is in line with the folk who originally made wireless phones so you could listen to them using a shortwave radio, and made subway cards so you could add cash to or clone them fraudulently, and are making identity cards you can read from a dozen meters away using ordinary equipment.

    "What happens if you run away? I.e. Turn your back to the beam?"

    In this case, if you were a threat, you've just been controlled, and the device was successful.

    From the article: "... the threats vision is temporarily impaired, their balance is effected, and they become affected by nausea..."

    Apparently it also messes with your ability to manage the definitions of affect and effect, possibly leading to getting it right and wrong in two different instances of the same usage in a single sentence. Apostrophe loss is another reported side effect.

    Paris, because she cures apostrophe loss, if you know what I mean.

  36. Beaviz

    There'll be

    no more uprisings from now on.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    Just like tasers, they're "non-lethal" until someone is attacked who suffers from some medical condition that causes them to die after repeated retching.

    And just like tasers, just because it's described as "non-lethal" will mean it's not used in place of deadly force, as was the original intention. The weapons' use will be extended to other forms of control, more as a substitute for spanking than anything else, because the wielder of non-lethal force gets a kick out of watching people suffer.

  38. Neoc

    Sing it with me...

    High-way to the Dazer Zone™!

    Gonna take a ride into the Dazer Zone™...

    Mine's the polychromatic one.

  39. Adrian Esdaile

    No magic in this

    We already know enough to build one, people.

    You need:

    1. a bright light source. It will look like a pinpoint, or torch lens at most. So yes, we could use green lasers, but ultra-bright green LEDs will work. Won't get the 2 mile range though.

    2. probably a rolling series of frequencies to flicker the light over. Somewhere around the 50-60hz range, plus a few over/under tones. Basically the range that induces epilepsy. Or just project a frantic network game of Doom2 in 320x240 at them, that used to do it for me.

    Soldering irons and PIC microcontrollers at the ready!

  40. lasersage

    tunable laser

    All this talk of lasers not being tunable is wrong. Argon ion lasers are tunable across a large part of the visible spectrum, we had one at uni, it was cool :)

    Even less special lasers are tunable within certain limits, changing the tilt on the stepped grating at the back of a gas laser for instance.

    If you want to go diode then I guess you could have a gattling arrangement of frequency shift crystals, though this may be too course.

    As for "the military have glasses that are laser safe" that is a very subjective statement. Even glasses tuned to stop the wavelength of light I work with are no use if you cop it straight in the eye. If they could stop it then they'd be black and thick.

    If you stop all the wavelengths then your glasses will be black.

    I'm only trying to correct a few statements, don't think for one minute that I think this thing has a chance in hell of actually working. Reflective glasses, turning your back, or even trying to aim the damn thing across 2.4Km is going to be a show stopper.

    By the way, I've managed to hit someone whilst being sick (there was beer involved:)

  41. Hugh Tonks

    Laser effects

    It clearly affects one's ability to punctuate correctly and distinguish between "affect" and "effect".

  42. Shark Girl

    Butt Blaster

    @um, who asks: " What happens if you run away? I.e. Turn your back to the beam?"

    That's when they use the butt blaster. It's like puking, only it comes out the back end, instead.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Our lasers are safe theirs arent

    I suggest old kind of pedestrian reflectors, the kind thats made of prismed plastic. Reflects light straight back to light source.

    I wonder how the police will be able to claim this causes no permanent harm from one corner of their mouth and scold kids with laserpointers for causing permaneent eye harm for the other corner? A new tongue twiter and scitchoprenia sympton of police force?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    These guys can't tell the difference between movies and reality - like, they take Star Wars all too literally. Movie physics has, they'll be sorry to hear, movie countermeasures.

    Certainly everyone remembers those really cool mirror sunglasses worn by (mostly Southern) motorcycle movie cops. Make them with flat lenses so to better aim the reflection back at the sender (maybe 90% reflectivity of all wavelengths and an off-wavelength filter to avoid the rest getting through).

    Oh, hell, just keep a mirror in your pocket and cover your eyes with it on threat of being "dazzled" and dazzle the dazzler. Maybe a flip-down mirror on your ball cap visor - so retro, so reminiscent of your fav bass fisherman, so cheap, and causing all to wear their baseball hats forward again.

    I can see the demonstrating hoi polloi, each equipped with a mirror, ready to do battle with the skull-busting jack-boots turned lightsaber-wielding Vader wannabes. ...and the streets ran green with puke.

    Taser replacement? In their dreams.

    And h4rm0ny and Rich - what's with your complaint with Tasers, given that the police already have firearms, batons and pepper spray each of which are far more deadly or painful and potentially more lethal than Tasers.

  45. Dex


    ....Where did i put my sharks!

  46. Barney Carroll


    This might lead to less tragicomic cases of disproportionate tazer force.

    Realistically though, it probably just means more inventive potential for sadistic cruelty in reponse to minor traffic violations.

    Hey, maybe we can combine this with electric shock administration and intense epidermal pain-inducing microwaves to sort out the… ah… huge problem… of subjugating the man on the street?

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