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article imageSet phasers to stun: Man builds his own 'Star Trek' phaser

By R. Francis Rubio     Apr 28, 2012 in Technology
In a recent YouTube video an unknown man shows off a homemade working version of the famous "Star Trek" weapon -- the "phaser."
Presumably built by a Trek-Minded individual, this real-life working replica doesn't pack quite the punch its iconic on-screen counterpart does (unless you are a black balloon) but for a "Trekkie" like me, it is way cool.
In the video you may have noticed the garage looked somewhat smokey during the demonstration, this may be due to the use of a fog or smoke machine (as suggested in an article by Geek.com) to enhance presentation and allow viewers to actually see the laser on film.
And what's a phaser without sound effects? The video doesn't say how this is achieved, however most toy versions of the weapon already have sound effects built right in.
The tech website Geek.com speculates that the laser used most likely is from a PlayStation 3 Blu-ray drive, although points out that there may be any number of high power laser pointers able to produce the same results.
In case you are thinking... wait I've seen this before... you may be right. A few videos posted on YouTube early 2010 seem to have used a similar model to create their own version of the high-tech phaser. The earlier incarnations of the weapon point to this do-it-yourself tutorial and this 2007 video posted for anyone wanting to learn how build their own.
The "Star Trek" phaser is not the only project in the works inspired by the iconic TV series. Earlier this month a number of Digital Journal articles were published detailing efforts to design a real-life version of the "Tricorder."
Just in case you are unfamiliar with the gadget, a "Tricorder" is a fictional multi-functional instrument use on the series "Star Trek" to analyze unknown material and diagnose medical problems to name just a few of its many functions.
A $10 million prize was offered this year at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show for the first person to design a workable version of the instrument. Backed by electronics giant Qualcomm and the X Prize Foundation, the competition (according to the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize website) is designed to "stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies, making reliable health diagnoses available directly to 'health consumers' in their homes."
Sorry "Star Trek" junkies, still no word on a functional "Transporter" or "Holodeck." Maybe next year.
More about Star trek, Phaser, Playstation 3, Science fiction, TOY
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