After Hours

Photos: Life imitates Star Trek

On Star Trek, a phaser (left) could stun life forms or kill and vaporize them, depending on the setting.

Last year, the U.S. Air Force released information about and this photo of a PHaSR, or Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response system. It is a prototype laser weapon that generates light capable of temporarily impairing a person's vision. The prototype is obviously much larger than the Star Trek version, but the concept is there. And don't forget the Taser.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...