Hugh Pickens writes "Scientific American reports that a newly patented method of non-lethal incapacitation can render an assailant helpless for several minutes by overloading the neural networks connected to the retina with a brief flash of high-intensity light. 'It's the inverse of blindness—the technical term is a loss of contrast sensitivity,' says Todd Eisenberg, the engineer who invented the device. The device consists of a 75-watt lamp, combined with optics that collect and focus the visible light into a targeted beam, which can be aimed like a flashlight to project a controlled beam of white light more than 10 times more intense than an aircraft landing light with a range as far away as 150 feet. Recovery time ranges from 'seconds to 20 minutes,' says Eisenberg. 'It's very analogous to walking from a very bright room into a very dark room.'"