Having played with* many, many laser pointers in my time, up to and including a 650mW red laser pointer (yes, it was 650nm wavelength as well, but the power was 650mW), the amount of damage these things put out is being rather exaggerated by this thread.
The diodes are rated at up to 1W, but based on WL's normal laser specifications, this will probably actually only put out about 800mW of power. My 650mW pointer can, and will burn skin, if held on the same point of the skin of a moderately pale caucasian male for over half a second (A dark African-American would be burnt much more quickly). Of course, your natural reaction is to flinch quickly when the skin temperature reaches the scalding point (ca 60C), and thus it would be very difficult to actually cause REAL bodily harm with even a 1W pointer. This is how the Heat Ray
works as well, though the Heat Ray affects a much larger diameter.
Also, from what I've read, these blue lasers have a greater beam divergence than most laser pointers on the market. That is to say, at a range greater than about 10 meters, this laser will not have nearly as much power density as a similar strength red laser. Also, my understanding is that WL does not equip these lasers with adjustable optics (you cannot adjust the focus on this pointer), thus you cannot set the beam to converge at 30m and melt things from far away.
Eye damage, on the other hand, is VERY EASY to cause with a pointer, and even moreso with a blue one. Anyone using this device without proper eye protection is a complete moron.
This is compounded by the Blue Light Hazard
, which makes this laser more dangerous than an equal strength red laser. Blue light can cause skin cancer (in exactly the same way UV light can - though you're not likely to get cancer just from shining this laser at your skin for a short period of time, it is certainly possible because while a tanning bed will spread 1KW of UV light over your entire body, this laser can put nearly 1W into an area approximately 1/1,000,000th your skin's surface area - so approximately 1,000x the intensity of a tanning bed), and is even more dangerous to your eyesight than red light is.
So, while it would be nearly impossible to kill or maim someone directly using this laser, it is absolutely possible to permanently blind someone or give them skin cancer with it. This laser is absolutely a weapon (and, as a Class IV laser, it is classified as one), and should be handled like one. This thing absolutely can light a match, burn through cardboard, or pop a balloon at a short range (I would guess about 5m being the maximum with steady hands, longer if you have it mounted), and the beam will be very visible in the air in even relatively bright rooms. If you are using it at night, it WILL be a beacon pointing directly back to you.
All that said, I want one, I want one, I want one!!! However, I'll probably just buy the diode and put it in my own housing, so that I can pot it down to the minimum power it will lase at (I would guess about 500mW, though I haven't done the research on this particular diode). Plus, it's cheaper that way and I can put in my own optics.*By "played with" - I'm a responsible adult, and I know that a laser is a weapon, not a toy. I build them for fun, and have a set of safety goggles for each color laser that I use. My next project is a laser scanner! (the device used to put on laser shows)