I'll wager that nearly every regular reader of the Geekend, and almost every reader of InformationWeek (at least our IT Life section), grew up dreaming of being able to throw fireballs like a wizard or like a super hero. Whether you played Dungeons and Dragons, or watched the Human Torch on Saturday morning cartoons, it was a go-to fantasy power.
Now. You. Can. (Do you hear angels singing? Are the clouds opening up?)
A magic supply shop called Ellusionist is selling a device called Pyro that allows you to throw fireballs up to 10 feet away. It straps to your wrist so no one sees it, and it can shoot up to four fireballs without reloading. It works, too. The first round of the product sold out, and reviews are all fantastic. It uses traditional magician's flash paper and batteries to make massive fireballs shoot from your hands, without ruining your clothing. Here is the awesome video:
Because super heroes are hot right now, Ellusionist wants to compare this device to super hero powers and spy gadgets. Of course, the first fireball throwers in the sci-fi world were wizards. And that's more what this reminds me of (especially since it is a magician’s gadget). And there's your problem.
That guy looks awesome doing the tricks. He's got great lighting, a practiced look. He looks like a freakin' super hero. If you or I strapped one of those things on, if we're lucky, we'd look like this:
But we'd probably end up looking more like this:
We're never going to look like the awesome dude in the ad, no matter how many leather jackets we buy.
Also, I encourage you to buy this sooner rather than later. I suspect it won't be long until some fool pays $175 for one of these things and burns down a neighbor’s house or sets the cat on fire -- at which point every state in the union will rush to ban them.
You have to love the thing. You know all your friends will want to see you use it at least once. If you avoid setting them on fire, they'll probably even want to see it again. How awesome would this be for July 4th celebrations -- or any time you have a BBQ? I have tiki torches in my backyard. I want to start lighting them with this thing. There's no end to the geekiest fun you'll ever have.
Ordinarily, when I feature a goofy gadget in the Geekend, I have some ideas about a real-world use for it, or a belief that it will benefit all mankind. I've got nothing this time. It is just awesome. Enjoy it for its awesomeness. Be a hero or a wizard. Buy one for yourself before one of your friends does and you look like a follower instead of the supreme being you truly are.