Laser pointers are handheld devices that emit low-powered laser beams of visible light. They emit light in a whole range of colors through the use of a laser diode. They were intended to be used as highlighters. Owners would point them at objects of interest, and the laser’s thin beam would illuminate a small spot on that object. These were a huge hit with younger kids. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been nearly blinded at least once by these bad boys. Your parents probably told you laser pointers would give you permanent eye damage, but they aren’t powerful enough to do it.
Although they were often used in outdoor settings (outdoor laser tag anyone?), laser pointers were not nearly as effective outside as they were inside. Laser pointers were meant for indoor use, and they were often used in educational and business presentations. A teacher or boss could sit at the back of the room and still make a cogent point with their laser pointers. They also helped people to point out a spot in a hard-to-reach place, like during construction. Little known fact: Green laser pointers can be used for amateur astronomy. On a clear night, a green laser pointer beam can often be seen, allowing you to point out stars in the sky.
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