Picking your favorite non-lethal weapon can be tough. I'm partial to the microwave-based Active Denial System that former PopSci editor Eric Adams had the, er, courage to stand in front of a few years ago. (An experience described in detail here.) Or I might give a nod to the paralyzing, hardening foam that momentarily holds down The Hulk in the 2003 movie, and has been used by the U.S. military with mixed results.
But a California company may be developing the real winner, an LED-based flashlight that shoots out incredibly bright pulses of light, and can potentially induce vomiting. The Department of Homeland Security is funding the study, and Penn State will begin testing it this fall at the Institute of Nonlethal Defense Technology. Any volunteers?—Gregory Mone