If you like to talk in areas where you're not supposed to do so (loudly, on your cellphone, inside Ryerson University's library for example), the Japanese have come up with the solution: a non-lethal speech-jamming gun capable of stopping speakers in mid-sentence.
The idea is simple. Psychologists have known for some years that it is almost impossible to speak when your words are replayed to you with a delay of a fraction of a second.
Kurihara and Tsukada have simply built a handheld device consisting of a microphone and a speaker that does just that: it records a person's voice and replays it to them with a delay of about 0.2 seconds. The microphone and speaker are directional so the device can be aimed at a speaker from a distance, like a gun.
In tests, Kurihara and Tsukada say their speech jamming gun works well: "The system can disturb remote people's speech without any physical discomfort."
Here's what sold it to me:
[Kazutaka Kurihara at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tskuba and Koji Tsukada at Ochanomizu University, both in Japan,] say it could be used to maintain silence in public libraries [...] .
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