Also known more simply as 'hardlight', 'shaped light' or 'laser shapes', polyphotonic devices use linear electromagnetism to bend laser-concentrated light into various shapes.More specifically, a delicate 'skeleton' supports a series of electromagnetic field-generating nodes. Spanning between these nodes are the lines of the EM fields that dictate the shape of the polyphotonic construct. Laser sources positioned elsewhere on the device direct intense light into these electromagnetic 'cages' from which much of the light cannot escape. The lines between the nodes are ramrod straight, so smoothly-curved hardlight shapes are impossible. The skeleton supporting the nodes can either be totally rigid or flexible and adaptive.
The sheer temperature of hardlight constructs makes them popular choices in combat, either as weapons or as armour. Although the hardlight itself has no mass, and its generator is often lightweight also, the fields containing the laser light interact strongly with the electromagnetic force, resulting in a nearly weightless tool that still meets physical resistance depending on the density of the subject it comes into contact with.