Wired has a report up about a new nonlethal weapon developed by the air force over a 10 year period for a cost of $40 million. Dubbed the Active Denial System, or ADS for shorts, the new nonlethal was developed as a new means of crowd control.
It works by producing a wavelength longer than an x-ray, but shorter than microwaves. The result is massive amounts of heat, so much that after five seconds, a victim’s skin will be red and blistered and they should be successfully incapacitated. It can be blasted across an entire crowd for disabling large groups of assailants.
The developers call it “the goodbye effect,” in that if you’re hit with it, you’ll immediately want to remove yourself from its line-of-fire. The problem I see is that if they’re using this on large groups of people, it might not be possible to get out of the way quick enough to avoid serious injury. Being pushed by a mob who is trying to collectively avoid the beam sounds doubly dangerous in that the mob will stomp itself and those unfortunate enough to remain in the light, so to speak, will have the unfortunate distinction of having their insides boiled like Chinese dim sum, though probably not as delicious.
Anyway, tear gas, fire hoses and projectile bean bags were bad, consider the ADS yet another reason why you wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of crowd control. So keep those toes inline unless you wanna get burned.