Two Japanese researchers developed a device that can compel people to stop talking, without physically hurting them. The equipment, called “SpeechJammer”, can be used as a “gun” directed to the person who needs to be silenced.
The device contains a microphone and a directional speaker. The installed software is recording the speaker’s voice, scrambles it and plays it back to the person with a slight delay.
The effect, known as delayed auditory feedback (DAF), is so disconcerting that the targeted person is compelled to shut up.
Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University, the authors of the project, say the new invention is meant to solve a cultural issue – the situation when one person is overwhelming the others in a conversation, continuing to speak when it is their turn to shut up and listen.
The researchers have built two prototypes, one fixed and another portable.