Security industry unveils “vomit torch”

We got sick just reading about it. Good news the New Zealand cops turned it down. Bad news that it exists. From NZ’s The Press, Aug. 15:

Police pass on acquiring ‘vomit torch’
It is enough to make you sick – a crime-fighting flashlight that makes a culprit vomit.

A combination of ultra- bright light-emitting diodes (LEDs) pulsing into a perpetrator’s eyes will blind and disorient offenders and give them vertigo and nausea, giving police time to nab them as they reel.

Weak-stomached New Zealand criminals are safe for the moment, though – New Zealand police have not heard of the technology and have “no plans” to look at it, spokesman Jon Neilson says.

The torch is being developed by Californian company Intelligent Optical Systems for the Department of Homeland Security, which has commissioned a range of non- lethal weapons for border control, policing and combating terrorism.

The torch also measures how far away the target is and modifies the intensity of the beam so as not to blind the recipient.

Intelligent Optical Systems chief executive John Farina said the torch had been in development for “a number of years now”.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had been working with the company and was “very excited about its potential”, he said.

“Police officers used to only have a choice between a stick and a gun,” Farina said.

“It’s a lot less painful than a taser.

“It relates to the brain and how it synchronises to its internal clock.”

Strong pulses of light also caused the brain’s orientation mechanisms to briefly go awry, he said.

Similar systems had been developed for cruise ships to combat pirates, but these worked on emitting irritating noises rather than light.

He said the vomit torch would not work if the offender was smart enough to turn around, look away or put on sunglasses.

“But if he turns away, he’s not shooting at you,” Farina said.

The technology is being tested on students at Penn State University.

Farina said the company was looking at setting up in-built floodlight versions of the torches for use on aircraft to foil terrorists on the assumption that, while everybody in the cabin would be affected, it would be hard for a terrorist to take control of a plane if his head was buried in a sick-bag.

See our last post on the creeping (or is it galloping?) police state.