> The other business I am involved in seeks nonlethal solutions to
> problems such as high speed car chases and similar situations where
> the police now use guns or main force. One idea I had was a charged
> stream of liquid to carry a current, a'la taser. I constructed a
> prototype with two Super Soakers mounted on a common pistol grip, and
> a 20 kV pulse generator connected so that the water streams would
> complete a circuit on the target. Testing resulted in the conclusion
> that a liquid stream cohesive enough to act at greater than three
> feet range would in itself carry enough energy to be able to seriousl
> injure the person aimed at. Also, simply wearing a raincoat renders
> the gadget useless.
Yes, I've read about these on the net. The usual configuration is a truck-mounted electrified water cannon that can be used against crowds. Another interesting potential police weapon is a sort of super taser that's integrated into a police car. In a chase, a harpoon on a wire is shot into the rear of criminal's car, and a powerful current fries the car's circuitry, stopping the engine and the chase. There are no harmful side effects to the car's occupants, besides being arrested of course.
I've been thinking about a more modest device myself, namely a stun gun/pepper spray combination (one weapon). This would allow you to temporarily disorientate the attacker with the spray, so that you can move in and zap him. An additional feature could that the stun gun has different settings for intensity levels, so that the shock can be adjusted to the target. This is especially handy for police use (all those poor unarmed bobbies should have one, for example).
> About this time I applied for a patent on the device on the chance it
> could be somehow debugged - and found that another company had beaten
> us to the punch. Their disclosure, unfortunately, missed all the
> information my experiments turned up, so that their device is likely
> also useless.
The anti-crowd version may work, but it probably never be much of a side arm. Could be a fun sport though, like paintball.
> Other ideas could be use of phased sound - low frequencies have been
> shown to disorient wihtout causing permanent harm, but are terribly
> hard to project, and ultrasonics can cause discomfort, but the power
> level needed is again possibly dangerous. There has been mention in
> trade journals of an ultrsonic 'speaker' that can direct audio to an
> apparent location in free space by using collimated ultrasonic beams
> that have beat notes in the range of the desired frequency. The air
> itself becomes the radiator.
Could mediums such as water be used by the sound waves to travel over great distances to a kill zone (where possibly several waves from different locations converge and amplify eachother) with lethal results to man and beast? If so, submarines, or surface ships, could be fitted with powerful sonic guns instead of cumbersome torpedoes and depth charges. One would think that their nuclear power plants could generate quite some energy for a shockwave. It's certainly a very "clean" and discrete weapon, and leaves no traces (a pocket version would be a great murder weapon, causing heart attacks and strokes without leaving any tangible evidence).