StunRay disables your brain with inverse blindness

Genesis Illunimation

Evan Ackerman

Until we figure out how to make a phaser that can be set to stun, we’ve been stuck with non less-lethal options like tasers (which can kill) and laser dazzlers (which can cause eye damage). StunRay is basically just a big flashlight, except with the ability to disable you by causing “inverse blindness.”

If you’re wondering what inverse blindness looks like, it’s easy to do to yourself: just stare at a bright light for a minute or two and then look around. It’s not dark, really, but you can’t see anything very well, and it’s because the exposure to bright light has overloaded the neurons that connect your retinas to your brain, and mostly all you can see is a featureless white expanse. The technical term for this is “loss of contrast sensitivity,” and it’s an effective way of disabling someone.

A company called Genesis Illumination is working what’s basically a giant fancy flashlight called StunRay that can inflict this loss of contrast sensitivity or inverse blindness or neural overload or whatever you want to call it on people at long range in a split second. Each burst of super bright light incapacitates subjects for five seconds or so without causing any pain, and subjects fully recover in about five minutes. The “fully recover” bit is key, since StunRay won’t roast your eyeballs like a laser dazzler can.

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