Here's the deal, you shouldn't ever look at a laser beam head on, especially one built by Wicked Lasers. It's all fun and games until someone goes blind, and that's exactly what will happen if you try and stare directly at the 1W laser dot in the company's new Spyder 3 Krypton. Wicked Lasers says the device is under review by the Guinness World records as the world's brightest handheld laser in the world, and considering it can be seen from space, we have a feeling it will be a short review.
You may remember Wicked Lasers as the company that will sell you a laser with an emitter that looks like a lightsaber hilt. Oh, and the laser is strong enough to destroy your eyeballs, but that's still safer than a real lightsaber. Safe is a relative term though, and the FDA is the agency responsible for determining what is safe. The agency has sent Wicked Lasers a letter saying that it "disapproves the quality control and testing program for all laser products." Bummer.
The company now has the customary 15 days to refute the claim, ask the FDA for a reasonable exemption, or explain how it has fixed things. Wicked Lasers will also have to provide the FDA with a list of all the products they sell in the US. These high-power lasers are technically legal, but the import situation has always been a little shady. This action could be the first step in government action to ban the devices. They were previously on "import alert" delaying shipments.
Are you still hankering for one of these pricey, eyeball annihilating industrial lasers? Check out our review before you dare.
It's another week, which means another Photo Awesome has been prepared, hot and ready, just for you. Deviating from last week's post, we're back in the office for some more behind-the-scenes looks at our day-to-day lives in the Maximum PC offices. Speaking of "looks," check this one out:
Now, our Editorial Director Jon Phillips is usually a pretty calm guy--it's not easy to surprise or excite him, which makes us all the more excited that we caught this look on camera. But what could possibly have Jon this surprised?
Ever since Wicked Lasers released its S3 Arctic Spyder III laser, comparisons have been to the lightsaber Luke Skywalker wielded in a little sci-fi flick called Star Wars. That's great for publicity, but it also caught the attention of Lucasfilm, which promptly sent Wicked Lasers a cease and desist order demanding that the company either change the design or stop selling it altogether.
Wicked Lasers responded by opting for option C, which was to put the letter on eBay and brace themselves for a legal battle. Well, there isn't going to be one. Maybe cooler heads prevailed in the Lucasfilm camp, or perhaps they didn't like the negative media attention the letter stirred up. Maybe the Force is strong with Wicked Lasers. Either way, George Lucas and company decided to retract the letter.
"We are aware that during this time you have made several statements to the media insisting that your product is not intended to resemble a lightsaber and is not marketed by your company as either a lightsaber or as having any connection with Star Wars or Lucasfilm," Lucasfilm's legal team stated in a followup letter.
"We appreciate the clarifying public comments that you have made. We have noted that apparently in response to your public comments the press coverage has changed since we issued our cease and desist notice, as the media and the public has come to realize that Lucasfilm would never endorse or license a highly dangerous product such as your Arctic Pro Laser and that in fact there is no relationship between Lucasfilm and your company or its products."
This time around, Lucasfilm went on to request that Wicked Lasers add a disclaimer stating that the Arctic Pro, as well as other similar products, are not licensed or endorsed by Lucasfilm. Or put another way, wave a virtual hand in front of the public and disclaim that these are not the official lightsaber products you're looking for.
On a related note, we had Wicked Lasers send us the laser in question. You can see the unboxing here.
For about two-hundred bucks, you can pick up the closest thing you'll ever get to a real-life lightsaber, that being the S3 Spyder Arctic from Wicked Lasers. A tad on the pricey side, sure, but totally worth it to wield "the most dangerous laser ever created," as Wicked Lasers warns.
Sounds a lot like the lightsaber found in the Star Wars flicks, and according to George Lucas, it looks like one too. So much, in fact, that Lucas and his firm, Lucasfilm, sent a cease and desist order to Wicked Lasers.
"It is apparent from the design of the Pro Arctic Laser that it was intended to resemble the hilts of our lightsaber swords, which are protected by copyright," the C&D order states.
The letter goes on to call the S3 Spyder Arctic "a highly dangerous product with the potential to cause blindness, burns, and other damage to people and/or property."
That second part actually appears to be true, and to address safety concerns, Wicked Lasers made a number of changes to its device, such as adding an adjustable power mode, adjustable wave mode, secure lock/unlock mode, and a training lens that reduces the power output by 80 percent to prevent accidents of untrained Jedis...er, customers.
Check out the alleged lightsaber lookalike here, and then tell us if you think Lucas and Co. have a legal leg to stand on.