No swords or ray guns just yet — but real-life lasers are everywhere in our modern world. Science fiction writers of ages past would probably be pleasantly surprised that what they thought would be the weapons of the future — are just used for various mundane tasks of the present.
A Hi-Tech Ruler
Lasers are being used every day to measure distance, speed, elevation, and alignment. The cop’s radar gun that caught you speeding, the trackers that measured the speed of Serena William’s serve, even the dozens of tool contractors use to make sure their measurements are perfect — all of them use laser technology.
Lasers used for measuring distance provide extremely accurate results — especially those used in construction. Being off by a millimeter or two can be disastrous to skyscrapers and high rise buildings. Don’t bother arguing with the cops either — lasers that measure speed can be accurate to the mile.
The Cashier’s Best Friend
Gone are the days of manually entering the prices of each item you buy in the grocery. Everything is just scanned and viola — will it be cash or card? One of the most taken for granted use of lasers — and one of the most common at that — is for scanning barcodes and other information. This modern use of laser technology has cut your time waiting in line by more than half.
Reads Hardcopies of Games, Music, and Videos
There was a time with no Netflix and no Steam. If you wanted to see a movie or play a game — you buy a copy that’s encoded in a special disk. Of course, you can still do that today with Blu-Rays, CDs, and game disks — but it’s becoming a niche market for collectors and slowly losing popularity among the masses.
Your Connection to the Internet
You’re only reading this article with the help of laser technology. Millions of miles of fiber optic cables span the globe, providing internet access to millions of people.
Fiber optics allows information — whether it’s videos, music, text, or some other form of data — to travel at the speed of light from one point to another. This allowed communication and transmission over longer distances and allowed the transfer of bigger packs of data.
Futuristic Scalpels and Drills
Lasers have saved thousands of lives. Contrary to what you see in movies, lasers are more often used by doctors rather than space pirates. Lasers provide surgeons with higher levels of precision and consistency in their surgical procedures.
This has made laser-assisted surgeries safer and shortened recovery times substantially. Laser eye surgery has given people a clearer vision and eliminated the need for glasses. Even dentists have switched to lasers — forgoing their scary drills for a more silent alternative.
Lasers are used everywhere — some uses you just don’t encounter. The manufacturing sector often uses lasers, and your car or parts of it were probably cut with laser technology. Whether you see them or you don’t — lasers have become an integral part of modern society.
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