This bullet-dampening device makes police guns less lethal, could save lives

In science fiction, heroes often have the ability to set their guns to stun. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in real life, but there’s at least one company in the world looking to change that.

San Diego-based outfit Alternative Ballistics has developed an innovative new firearm attachment that could give officers the ability to dampen their bullets and make them less lethal, potentially preventing unnecessary deaths during the apprehension of suspects.

The device, dubbed The Alternative, is a small plastic clip that can quickly be attached to the business end of an officer’s handgun. When the officer fires a bullet, it buries itself inside a metal ball, which detaches from the clip and is propelled forward at about one fifth of the bullet’s original velocity. Due to the secondary projectile’s larger surface area and lower speed, it can deliver a blow to a person without penetrating their body.

But that’s not to say it doesn’t cause any damage. Speaking to CNN, Alternative Ballistics CEO Christian Ellis stressed that getting hit with The Alternative isn’t exactly a walk in the park. “It’s gonna feel like you had a professional baseball player hit you in the chest with a hammer,” he explained, “so it is going to hurt.” The thinking is that this should be enough to suppress a dangerous person, without putting holes in them.

If this non-lethal projectile isn’t enough to stop an assailant, however, the Alternative is designed to immediately give officers the ability to fire regular bullets again. Each clip is single-use and will completely detach from an officer’s firearm after the first shot.

The technology has intrigued dozens of police departments across the nation. One of the first places its been deployed is Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.

It’s definitely not without its fair share of flaws — Can an officer break this out in time? Is there room for yet another item to hang from an officer’s belt?— but at first glance, The Alternative seems like it could definitely be a useful tool for reducing unnecessary shootings.

Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Gaming

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.
Emerging Tech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a super-speedy pulsar

A super-speedy pulsar has been spotted dashing across the sky, discovered using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Very Large Array. The pulsar is traveling at a breathtaking 2.5 million miles an hour.
Emerging Tech

Chilean telescope uncovers one of the oldest star clusters in the galaxy

An ultra-high definition image captured by the Gemini South telescope in Chile has uncovered one of the oldest star clusters in the Milky Way. The cluster, called HP 1, could give clues to how our galaxy was formed billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers discover giant chimneys spewing energy from the center of the galaxy

Astronomers have discovered two exhaust channels which are funneling matter and energy away from the supermassive black hole at the heart of our galaxy and out towards the edges of the galaxy, dubbed galactic center chimneys.
Emerging Tech

A milestone in the history of particle physics: Why does matter exist?

If matter and antimatter were both produced in equal amounts by the Big Bang, why is there so much matter around us and so little antimatter? A new experiment from CERN may hold the answer to this decades-long puzzle.
Emerging Tech

Dublin Airport has a novel idea for tackling rogue drones

There are a growing number of technology-based solutions for dealing with rogue drones flying near airports, but officials at Dublin Airport have come up with another idea for keeping the skies safe.
Emerging Tech

This sleek new exoskeleton makes walking easier, fits under your clothes

A new ankle exoskeleton that is designed to be worn under clothes can help people to walk without fatiguing — and without restricting natural motion or drawing attention to itself.