Assault Intervention Device - A Pain Ray Gun

The Assault Intervention Device is a seven foot-long device that uses a directed beam of millimeter waves that penetrate about 1/64th of an inch into the skin. This tiny distance, about the thickness of a piece of paper, is where your pain receptors are located. The invisible beam causes an unbearable sensation of heat.

(Assault intervention device tested in LA jail)

The device will be mounted near the ceiling in a prison housing unit in the Los Angeles county jail.

“We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam,” said sheriff's Cmdr. Bob Osborne of the sheriff' Technology Exploration Program. “So that we have fewer injuries, fewer assaults, those kinds of things.”

This same technology was deemed unsuitable by the US military for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

SF fans have been thinking about man-portable heat rays for a long time. Consider the pencil heat ray from Ray Cummings' 1931 classic Brigands of the Moon:

My official permit for the carrying of the pencil heat ray allowed me always to have it with me. I drew it now.

...The figure was making off! My pencil ray was in my hand and I pressed its switch. The tiny heat ray stabbed through the air, but I missed... perhaps my pencil ray had seared his arm...


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