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Beamer Blasters: BMW's Laser Headlights

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Lasers: they can blind you. But that's not all, they can also do other things. Perform in laser light shows? Check. Drive a cat wild? BIG CHECK. Be pointed at things during a presentation? Yeaaaah buddy! Replace traditional (tungsten-halogen) and modern (Xenon/LED) headlights in cars? I'LL ALLOW IT.

At a mere ten microns in size, laser diodes are potentially a hundred times smaller than LED diodes. Lasers can also be upwards of 1,000 times brighter (and even purer white), which is just what you want flashing through your rear-view mirror at night. And if you're not sold yet, at 170 lumens per watt, lasers are nearly twice as efficient as LEDs, which will likely save you pennies every time you fill up your tank.


This is all well and good, but it seems like the real advantage of laser headlights is that lasers can be used to create highly directional beams of light. This means more light on the road where you need it, and less light blinding whatever poor sap is trying to drive past you. BMW suggests that "it will also be possible to use laser lighting to implement completely new functions..."

Hell yeah, "implement completely new functions"! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? If it's "project playable video games on the road in front of you", it is! Plus -- PLUS -- weaponized high-beams. Oh you just cut me off? No worries, I'm just gonna CUT YOUR F***ING CAR IN HALF! "Sounds like you've got road-rage." No way José, I drive on the sidewalk.

BMW developing laser headlights [dvice]

Thanks to Tim, who agrees if it ain't broke, don't fix it you should probably still hit it with a hammer a couple times because, who knows, maybe it'll start working even better.

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