Every great sci-fi series has great weapons. Dune has lasguns, Star Trek has phasers, and Star Wars of course has lightsabers. The video game franchise Mass Effect has the “omni-tool,” a “holographic” computer, 3D-printer, and scanner that doubles as a badass melee weapon. The technology to build an exact replica is a bit beyond us now, but using existing tech, we could build one more or less today, and its blade would be a true lightsaber.
In my latest Because Science, I’m building an omni-tool with the science we know right now. The omni-tool itself looks holographic, but to be touchable and fully three-dimensional, it has to invovle something other than the holograms you’re used to. Something like plasma.
If a real omni-tool used plasma instead of the rapidly fabricated and suspended silicon the game states, then it could both produce a 3D image in the air that also has the temperature to burn through objects, like armor. All a user would need is a glove equipped with thousands of lasers, making a real omni-blade closer to the original description of a lightsaber than a lightsaber is.
To find out exactly how you’d construct a real omni-tool, check out my latest episode above!
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