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article imageTasers Are Going Wireless

By KJ Mullins     Dec 2, 2007 in Technology
The Taser that most people are familiar with consists of two barbed, wired darts that surge 50,000 volts of electricity through a person to make them immobile. But the newest version that will soon hit the market is wireless.
By going wireless the Taser will be able to hit its target from a longer range. The present one only extends a few metres making for officials to have to be in close proximity to their target.
Not only will the range be larger but the blast will be longer too. Currently the volt blast lasts for five seconds. The new version will last for 20 seconds enough time to "take the offender into custody without risking injury to officers."
Tasers are being used by more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies in 44 countries. There are over 428,000 Tasers in the field with these agencies. This does not take in to account the number of civilians that own their own Taser.
There are many controversies though surrounding the tool used to stopping a target in their tracks. Amnesty International has been quoted as saying there have been more than 290 deaths associated with the police Tasers just in North America. 16 of those deaths were in Canada.
Homes says that the new Taser doesn't pose any more risks than the ones already associated with their device.
As the Toronto Star reports: "Taser points out that the weapon has not been implicated in any of the deaths in Canada. "We're just repeating what the medical examiners are saying," says Tuttle. "The vast majority of those cases have been excited delirium or (drug) overdose."
Taser now has competition from an Indiana based company, Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems. Their device sends out a streak of lightning, apparently by projecting an ionized gas or ionizing the air itself with a laser, which conducts the electricity forward. It's possible in the future for their device to even disable a vehicle.
The new wireless version will hit the marketplace in mid-2008.
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