When you stop to think about it for a moment, you realize just how fond the movie industry is of showcasing lasers. While these once fantasy-future inventions are now a useful reality with micromachining lasers and other tools, Hollywood still loves coming up with the idea of laser inventions. Everything from spy movies to science fiction has featured the colorful beams of light at some point or another.
Sometimes it is fun to dream a little bit. What if some of the laser inventions from the movies were developed in real life? Which ones would be the most useful? How would they translate to our reality.
The Death Star from Star Wars
The biggest and most famous laser in movie history has got to be the Death Star from Star Wars. This moon-sized space station came equipped with a laser powerful enough to destroy a whole planet. While this might not seem like a good thing to have in real life, it could actually be very useful in the right hands.
Earth has been hit by giant meteors before; this is how the dinosaurs went extinct after being the dominant form of life on Earth for millions of years. Humans would obviously want to avoid a similar fate, and a giant space laser seems like just the tool for the job. The Death Star could also serve as an alternative living space for humanity if the Earth did experience a cataclysmic event.
The Industrial Laser from Goldfinger
Another cool movie laser that could come in handy is the laser from Goldfinger. This laser is used as a weapon in the movie, threatening to cut James Bond in half. Luckily the hero manages to avoid being killed, but in the meantime the laser cuts through a large metal table cleanly.
It is easy to imagine such a laser making construction work significantly easier. Large chunks of steel and other kinds of metal could be handled much more quickly and efficiently. Skyscrapers could probably go up in half of the time that it takes for them to be built now.
Aside from construction, an obvious use for a laser beam which cuts through solid metal would be as a safety device. Whether you were trapped in a car or behind a locked door in some kind of an emergency, a laser beam would solve your problems in a timely fashion.
The Laser Teleporters from Tron
The last really cool movie laser that would translate well to the real world is the one from Tron. In the movie Tron, a laser teleports the main character from the real world into a digital world. This allows him to interact with programs in a video game.
The appeal here is pretty obvious. Video games are even more popular now than they were when Tron first came out in the 1980s. People of all ages would pay good money to be transported into their favorite virtual game worlds, as long as they knew it was safe. A lot of money could be made and a lot of happiness would be had.
Movie lasers of all kinds have inspired people when they are put on the big screen. This larger than life technology is synonymous with science fiction and fantasy, but it could offer very real solutions in our own world. It is fun to imagine what could be.