LED Incapacitator is latest weapon in crowd control

An LED light developed by Intelligent Optical Systems is intended to cause disorientation and nausea.

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The phrase "that light makes me sick!" will not just be overheard when viewing poorly developed LED luminaries. According to a United States Department of Homeland Security online newsletter, Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., of Torrance, California, has been granted a contract by the DHS to develop what it calls the "LED Incapacitator."

This LED ‘light sabre’ has been developed for use in crowd control. Evidently, the handheld device using light-emitting diodes to emit super-bright pulses of light at rapidly changing wavelengths, causing disorientation, nausea and even vomiting in whomever it's pointed at.

"There's one wavelength that gets everybody," says IOS President Bob Lieberman. "Vlad [IOS top scientist Vladimir Rubtsov] calls it 'the evil color'." Homeland Security hopes to give it to Border Patrol agents and National Guardsmen by 2010.

There has been a concern that LED applications could cause epileptic seizures, however, most people that are susceptible to seizures would react to flashing or strobing in the 15 to 20 CPS or Hz range only. If you consider reverse engineering, it is easy to see that a device could be created that could induce a similar non-lethal effect.

We have now taken LED to another dimension. Who would have considered weaponry as an application? As a specialist in market transformation, this took me by surprise. I had always thought of LED as a ‘weapon’ to combat energy usage in lighting, but this is a bit stronger use of the word!

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