China firm develops ‘laser gun’

A visitor tries out a laser toy gun at an international toy exhibition in Shanghai. A Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use from a range of almost one kilometer. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2018
0

China firm develops ‘laser gun’

BEIJING: A Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use that can set fire to protesters’ hair or banners from a range of almost one kilometer.
The general manager of the ZKZM fiber laser company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the weapon would “immediately” produce a “strong pain response” in the target but stressed it was designed to be “non-lethal.”
“The weapon is designed to do things such as setting fire to illegal banners at a protest or setting fire to the hair or clothing of a protester,” he said.
“It is not designed explicitly for killing like a gun that uses bullets and cannot cause the ‘instant carbonization’ of human skin and tissues,” he added.
The 15-mm caliber weapon weighs three kilograms (6.6 pounds), has a range of 800 meters (2,600 feet) and can pass through glass and other transparent obstacles.
It can be mounted on cars, boats and planes, the firm said, adding that it was “seeking a partner that has a weapons production license or a partner in the security or defense industry to start large-scale production.”
It is “mainly expected to be for Chinese police use,” the manager said.
He said it would need to be upgraded to a “laser cannon” — with increased power — to become lethal and confirmed his firm was working on such a weapon.
But he noted there was an international agreement not to develop killer lasers and said any such weapons would be “inhumane... the pain would be unimaginable.”
Some experts were skeptical of the unveiling, saying laser weaponry was still a matter of science fiction.
Specialist website Techcrunch noted that “laser weaponry capable of real harm has eluded the eager boffins of the world’s militaries for several reasons.”
“The power required to set a person aflame instantly from half a mile away is truly huge,” the website stressed.
“The idea of one that weighs a handful of pounds and fires hundreds of instantly skin-searing shots is just infeasible today.”
Development of such laser weapons is not limited to China, with all the big defense players in the US working on prototypes for the Pentagon.
Last year, Lockheed Martin announced a 60-kilowatt laser weapon that is invisible to the naked eye and will be deployed against mortars and small drones.


2018 Holiday Gift Guide: What to get for the ones you love this festive season

2018 Holiday Gift Guide
Updated 12 December 2018
0

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: What to get for the ones you love this festive season

DUBAI: Here are some gift ideas for this holiday season.

Long-distance love
Lovebox Spinning Heart Messenger ($100)
A 21st-century version of the classic love letter — perfect to let distant loved ones know you’re thinking of them. When you send a new message through the app, the heart on the recipient’s box revolves and your message is displayed on the screen inside.

Point-and-click. And print
HP Sprocket 2-in-1 Camera Printer ($160)
This smartphone-sized instant camera also lets you print your Instagram pics while you’re on the move. So now you can let disinterested strangers in the real world, too, know just how perfect the presentation of your smashed avocado toast was this morning.

For the watch lover
A Lange & Söhne Triple Split ($160,000)
This 100-piece limited-edition white-gold watch is one of the most complex ever created, with 567 components. The maker claims its “the first mechanical split-seconds chronograph in the world that allows multi-hour comparative time measurements,” and we’re not going to argue.

For the absent-minded
Tile Mate ($25)
Put Tile Mate on your key ring and save yourself from minor meltdowns. Can’t find your keys? Simply fire up the app and listen for the signature tune, or check the on-screen map. What if you lose your phone? Press the button and your phone will ring — even if it’s on silent. Lost your keys and your phone? Oh…

Take your tablet old-school
iPad TV stand ($30)
This cardboard faux-TV set from the Seventies is a great little placeholder for your iPad (or other tablet). For a really authentic nostalgia trip, set all your videos to 144p.

Family fun
Don’t Step In It board game ($20)
Put on a blindfold, spin the spinner, and take that many steps across the mat. And hope you don’t tread in the strategically placed poop. (The poop should be fake — we can’t stress that enough.) The weirdest thing about this weird game is that no one thought of it sooner. Seeing someone else tread in poop is always funny.

For the coffee freak
Espro Ultralight Press ($40)
This 16-oz French press (and vacuum-insulated “hydration bottle”) is perfect for the discriminating traveler for whom a sachet of Nescafe in their hotel room just won’t do.


For the coffee geek
R2-D2 Coffee Press ($25)
Everyone’s favorite service droid (yes, BB-8, *everyone’s*) now performing everyone’s favorite service — preparing coffee.

For the audiophile
Shinola Runwell Turntable ($2,500)
The ongoing vinyl revival means any music-loving hipster worthy of their goatee is once again buying LPs. This sleek belt-driven turntable has a built-in phono preamp.

The year’s best-selling book
‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ ($25)
Michael Wolff’s controversial exposé of what (he says) happened behind the scenes in the first nine month’s of Donald Trump’s presidency tops the bestseller list for 2018. Wolff’s ‘access-all-areas’ pass to the West Wing makes for fascinating reading, regardless of your political affiliations.

The year’s best-selling perfume
Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel ($100)
Apparently, it’s 2018’s most-popular smell-in-a-bottle, so you can’t really go wrong with this citrus-y “sexy, fresh Oriental fragrance.”

For the movie buff
100 Movies Scratch Off poster ($15)
You know those films people keep telling you that you must see? Here’s 100 of them on a single poster that you can scratch as you go to reveal the ones you’ve actually watched. Or the ones you feel like you have to pretend you’ve watched.

The shopaholic’s über-hamper
The Covent Garden Shopping Edit ($13,180)
This is only good if you’re planning a visit to London sometime soon, but for many GCC-dwellers, that’s a regular trip. This hamper features must-have gifts from Covent Garden’s most exclusive brands, including Danse Lenté, Penhaligon’s, Mulberry, The Shop at Bluebird, and more. It also includes a $6,400 voucher to spend on a watch at Bucherer.

For the escapist
Oculus Go Standalone VR Headset ($210)
Running away to another world is probably going to be high on everyone’s wish list for 2019. A trip to Mars is potentially lethal (not to mention Elon Musk could be your travel companion), so we recommend this all-in-one virtual-reality set for now.

Get some sleep
LectroFan White Noise Machine ($50)
Help mask those things that go bump (or screech, or whatever that adorable sound of young fellas revving their engines in the street outside is called) in the night with this ambient noise generator, complete with timer and volume control.

For the person who has everything
A castle in Italy ($18.25 million)
Nothing says ‘I love you’ like an 11th-century Florentine castle. Or any castle, really. This one comes with two swimming pools, two farmhouses, an olive grove, vineyard, and 37 hectares of woodland. And serious bragging rights.