How many times have you thought, “If that shrill woman yapping non-stop next to me at the airport could only hear the devastation her own voice is wreaking, surely she would shut up”? Researchers in Japan are working on a tool to do just that — turn people’s voices against them to compel them to be quiet. Perhaps they’ve been in touch with the Cellphone Jammer guy?
The prototype “SpeechJammer” gun doesn’t actually hurt anyone, explains PCMag, it’s actually “a directional speaker, combined with an input microphone, a motherboard, and software, all combined inside a small box that can be either fixed or used as a portable device.”
All of that means that it uses the principle of delayed auditory feedback, which shoves someone’s voice back in their faces, hopefully compelling them to shut up. DAF says that humans don’t like when our speech is jammed and played back to us at a slight delay. The researchers say it’s a well-documented effect, and is related to stuttering.
Prototypes are being tested out now, wherein sounds entered the system via a direction-sensitive microphone, were delayed via the software, and the delayed speech was “shot” back at the speaker.
Once these babies hit the U.S. market, if they ever do, we know a few people who will line right up to get them. Watch it, shrill mothers-in-law and shrieking kids on public transit.