SMU 100 Laser Rifle Tested By UK Police

Clearly the times have gotten as strange and terrifying as they're going to get over in the UK and police forces are testing laser rifles that are capable of firing a three meter "wall of light" that temporarily blind anyone who glances upon it. While this may bring up images in your mind of everything from your favorite first person shooter to Magic: The Gathering cards, you should know that this is being reported to be completely non-lethal. This weapon will cost £25,000 per unit and was designed by a former Royal Marine Commando who intended it for use against Somalian pirates. The image you see below this paragraph is not an accurate representation of what the rifle will look like, but a rendering of it's current iteration IS inside this post a bit lower down.

Civilians have nothing to fear from this powerhouse of a light blaster of course since makers of the SMU 100 say it'll only be used against rioters. The makers of this device also note that an unnamed police force is set to be giving it a trial soon, with usage more than likely set for 2012. Pal Kerr of MD Photonic Security Systems, the makers of this device, noted the following about it:

"The system would give police an intimidating visual deterrent. If you can't look at something you can't attack it." – Kerr

This device's effect is good over 500 metres (1,640ft) and has not yet been fully tested in regards to the potential side-effects of the light. This test will be part of the full trial taking place soon, and only AFTER it's been given approval by the commission in charge of testing it at this juncture will it be allowed to head to the Home Secretary in the UK. This is not the first time a weapon such as this has been used – American and British troops used similar blasters in Afghanistan to protect convoys from attack by sight-dependent enemies – but the UK police have not been using such excellent light-based-weapons up until now.

ALSO though we've been assured several times that it's not, we must assume that the rifle will work like this:

[via BBC]