The idea of having an “industry standard” always amused me. It’s the public mandating of peer pressure. There just happens to be something so awesome that everyone has to have one or clearly you’re just not getting the job done. Red bouncy balls are the industry standard of kickball (and, back when it wasn’t banned from America, dodge ball), ABS breaks are the industry standard of stopping (even though my ABS light has been on for about eight months now), and laser security is the standard for all important goods in movies and TV shows.
If I could buy theoretical stock in something, I’d put all my money in laser security systems. They’re everywhere. Any time there is a show or movie where our heroes have to go after something, it can always be found at the end of a laser-show gauntlet (and no, I don’t mean after Footloose-themed laser light show). It’s the ultimate in super security but isn’t crazy expensive. There must be a multitude of options, maybe some payment plans, or some real tax rebates as you can find them in museums, the bunkers of secret US bases, or in really fancifully laid out banks that look a lot like movie sets. It’s nice to know that in our fictional worlds the laser security business isn’t just for the big movers and shakers; they work to accommodate all levels of shiny light-based criminal avoidance plans.
What also comes standard is an inability to build their laser security systems to actually hold people out. It’s an escalating scale. A few weeks ago on “Chuck,” if you merely crawled and your hands and knees, you’re right past those dastardly lasers. If you’re in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, do a cartwheel into a back handspring and boom, you’re golden (just try not to fart). The security system in Entrapment has the same criteria as most of America: if you have a nice enough ass, you’re in, baby.
The most critical element to the laser security system is the ability to be absolutely invisible. Until any sort of powder, smoke, or a spec of dust enters the room. Then the laser will forever be shown to both the people trying to break in and fool the system and, most importantly, the audience. It’s really convenient for the people breaking in that they don’t need to bring 40 pounds of powder and have to keep applying it to the area to keep those streams visible.
The smallest amount of cloud formation will do as lasers are honest. They will say “ok, YA GOT ME!” and keep glowing well until the police/guerrillas/security force/soldiers for fortune show up to try and figure out how in the hell someone actually GOT PASSED OUR INTRICATE LASER SYSTEM! Because a laser system isn’t a laser system if it doesn’t inevitably not work and lead to hemming and hawing (the hemming and hawing also comes standard; the “GET THEM!” at the end comes with a different package).
So you keep on shining–usually in red–you crazy lasers. Without you, we wouldn’t have cool-but-relatively-easy-to-get-by obstacles for our heroes and heroines. You’re the shiny red light beneath our wings.