Shanghai company develops first 'real' lightsaber

Shanghai company develops first 'real' lightsaber

Your "Star Wars" fantasy comes true as a Shanghai-based manufacturer creates the first 'functional’ lightsaber
Shanghai’s real lightsabers
This lightsabre looks cool and all, but would you mind pointing it somewhere else?

"Star Wars" fans, it’s time to get out your Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker costumes for a face-off. Shanghai-based Wicked Lasers offers the first functional lightsaber: The Spyder III Pro Arctic, (US$197.97), woefully missing the opportunity for some great sci-fi inspired names.

Not exactly your childhood toy, the company's documentation says that the Arctic emits a 445nanometer wavelength cool blue, ultra high power 1 watt laser beam that appears to be up to 4,000-percent brighter than that built by one of its competitors. "Don't let the Arctic name fool you, this laser possesses the most burning capabilities of any portable laser in existence," they boast. "That's why it's also the most dangerous laser ever created.” And this is a toy?

If you’re still planning on bringing one of these out to the 2010 Expo (it's a technology showcase, right?) the site warns that the Arctic is “extremely dangerous" and "at close range, this Class 4 beam will cause immediate and irreversible retinal damage. Use with extreme caution.” On second thought, maybe this isn't the safest Chinese toy, but might definitely have some crowd control potential. Although we’re not exactly sure “most dangerous laser ever created” is exactly what the “Made in China” campaign had in mind.

We’re happy Shanghai’s pushing the boundaries of laser technology, but can this lightsaber at least come with a safety switch?

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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