OK, so it’s not a lightsaber in the sense that you have a discreet blade of light you can use to cut through metal, support struts, and younglings. But it’s a lot closer to that than we thought possible. And it’s very, very destructive.
The casing looks a lot like Luke’s weapon of choice, but what matters are the internals. Essentially, the guts of this thing are simple: Two laptop batteries and a laser diode in the 450 nanometer range. And it has an output of three watts. For the scientifically disinclined, this means it’s handheld, albeit heavy, and is really, really good at lighting things on fire:
Among the things this laser can do: Cut pieces of wood, burn holes clean through cardboard, burn paper, destroy ping-pong balls, and trigger exothermic chemical reactions (i.e. make stuff that normally wouldn’t catch on fire catch on fire). Oh, and it’s completely legal to own one of these things in the United States, partially because nobody thought death ray technology would advance to the point that we’d have handheld versions. Although really this is more of a “death flashlight”.
The filmmaker in question notes he doesn’t even like lasers like these, but that he knew we’d want to see it in action. The man knows his audience. Really, the question now becomes how soon he’s snapped up by DARPA to install their gigantic death rays into jets. Also how soon we can get these to start using on that neighbor across the street.