If you thought a laser pointer in your eyes was bad, then you haven't seen anything yet.
It's going to be a long time before we swap out bullets for blasters, but it seems like that fateful day is inching closer, thanks, in part, to a hobbyist with a fondness for sci-fi style weaponry.
Patrick Priebe, a German laser aficionado, has constructed a pistol capable of firing a laser pulse that will punch a hole through a razor blade and scorch wood.
Priebe built the gun by hand, taking around 70 hours to finish it. He made the body out of brass and aluminum and made the center plate out of Plexiglas. The gun works by firing a high-powered pulse of infra-red light. While labeled as a one-megawatt pulse, Priebe admitted that that was a very rough estimate and that the real power of the pistol is around 10 kW. Even so, it's still capable of doing quite serious damage to a wide variety of objects, not least of which are people's eyes and skin.
The goal was to make something as compact as possible, and the finished product measures a little over 12 inches long, and weighs around two pounds. It also looks like a slightly meaner version of the Portal gun, but that's probably accidental. The pistol was a commission, although Priebe said that he would make more of them if people wanted them to buy them.