It’s tough to justify why the EVO laser is cool, but that’s the thing: you don’t need to find a reason, because lasers are just plain cool. We’re not talking about some lame 1980s-style light show either. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, the EVO high-powered green laser ($200), according to its creator Wicked Lasers, is the “world’s first handheld laser that you can hack and reprogram with whatever functionality you desire,” and can be controlled by an iOS or Android smartphone (via an optional Bluetooth module). What are some of these functionalities they speak of? You can use it to transmit laser Morse code or create a sound-activated laser show. Because it’s open sourced and anyone can make apps for it, what you want it to do is up to you (because not even Wicked Lasers has any idea what people could possibly dream up with).
As is, the EVO’s firmware gives you four operating modes: always on, momentary, strobe, and bypass. What makes the EVO different from other lasers is that it lets you “dial through thousands of possible power settings,” not just high, medium, and low. There’s also a secret “Woz Mode” that Wicked Lasers said was requested by “the great himself,” which we’re guessing is Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak but we have no idea what the mode is, nor is Wicked Lasers telling anybody how to unlock it.
Lasers might be cool, but they’re also super dangerous (Wicked Lasers has another product called the Arctic, which can burn through iPhones). There’s a safety lock on the EVO to prevent others from using it, but anybody buying these lasers need to practice responsibility.