SpeechJammer can Shut You Up!

Ever find yourself in a theater and some yammering twit is spelling out each detail of the plot to his kids, or some punk teen is adding his own commentary to make the film funnier? I bet you wish you had a device that could stop them mid-sentence and shut them the hell up without all the hassles of assault charges and jail time, right?

Well Japanese engineers are working on a device that does exactly that. No, it isn’t magic, and it isn’t harmful. The device can be aimed at an offending speaker and stop him dead in his tracks.

This plays on a psychological phenomenon that suggests people find it incredibly difficult to keep a train of thought or continue speaking if they hear their own voice repeated back to them with a slight delay. The device is designed to capture the offending blabbermouth’s words and bounce it back to them like an echo with a focused beam of sound. Those around him will not hear what the victim is hearing, but they likely will see his confused and frustrated facial expression.

The rest of us will see the movie.

I just hope that if this device becomes a reality, that it will be used for good and not evil!


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