Laser pointers are small devices capable of emitting coherent low-powered beams of visible light. They are often used for presentations or personal amusement, though they can be dangerous when used inappropriately. Most laser pointers emit red light, though all colors of the spectrum are possible, with green and blue being the next most common. The beams of the red lasers are often invisible except where they strike a surface due to their small power, but other pointers can emit visible beams due to photon scattering from the atmosphere.
Laser pointers are frequently used by corporations for presentations. When combined with holographic projectors, laser pointers can create highly colorful and interactive shows. Specific portions of the holograph can be preprogrammed to change color when intersected with the laser pointer. This is particularly useful for military presentations, where objectives can be quickly highlighted.
Many recent models of holoscreens are equipped with laser pointer interactivity, allowing users to remotely control their projectors simply by pointing at it. The laser pointers can be used for anything from changing the channel, highlighting a product in a holovid and bringing it up on the market, or zooming in on a particularly interesting background object.
This technology has been well-used in holovid games, where it allows for a more interactive experience than a hand-held controller. While not as engaging as full-sensation hookups, it is less costly and enables users to pay attention to their surroundings while playing.
Many species of animal find laser pointers either enthralling or distressing. Slaver hounds often find the tiny dots of red pointers to be fascinating and will chase the dots as they are swept across a surface. Many Holders have spent long hours entertaining themselves by using laser pointers to convince their pet slavers to jump into walls. Thanks to the sturdy nature of the creatures, they are usually unharmed by this. Of course, enterprising slaves have also used this to effect escape, as poorly-trained slavers will go after the first thing it sees, dot or person.
Contrarily, furriers are heavily annoyed by laser pointers. When they see the dots, they often fly into rages and cause heavy rackets. It can take them several minutes to calm down, even after the pointer has been deactivated. Biologists believe this is an evolved defense mechanism, with furriers mistaking the red dots for approaching predators.
The danger of laser pointers are often overstated. The lasers emitted by them are too low-power to be directly harmful, even when shined in the eyes. While having a laser shined into the eye can cause temporary blindness, it is of no greater permanency than looking directly into the flash of a camera. If shined directly into the eye for a long period of time, the damage can be semi-permanent, but in reality it is nearly impossible for a person to voluntarily keep their eye open when such a bright light is being shined into it.
The greater danger comes from pointers being shined into a person's face to distract them while they are engaging in potentially hazardous activities, such as during driving planetary vehicles. Similarly, malicious pranksters can often cause panic by shining the pointers at law enforcement, mimicking the laser sights of some weapons.