Not as cool as laser beams, but something I could see the troops using often:
The U.S. Defense Department on Wednesday unveiled what it called a revolutionary heat-beaming weapon that could be used to control mobs or repel foes in conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.
The so-called Active Denial System causes an intense burning sensation causing people to run for cover, but no lasting harm, officials said.
"This is a breakthrough technology that's going to give our forces a capability they don't now have," Theodore Barna, an assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for advanced systems and concepts, told Reuters. "We expect the services to add it to their tool kit. And that could happen as early as 2010."