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Speech Jamming Gun: Literal Silencer

by Lambert Varias
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We may someday have a weapon that will safely and effectively combat noise. Called the SpeechJammer, the device uses a technique called Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) – it replays back the target’s speech with a slight delay. This messes with our brain and makes it difficult for us to continue speaking. You could of course achieve the same silence by shooting someone with a real gun, but that’s way too drastic for librarians.

speechjammer gun

The SpeechJammer was invented by Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada. As you can see in the picture above, it has a directional microphone to capture the target’s speech, and a directional speaker to play the captured sound back. The distance sensor uses the laser pointer to calculate the distance of the target. The on-board computer needs the distance to ensure that the delayed playback is consistent. Here’s Mashable with more on the device:

And here’s a video from a Spanish talk show that shows DAF in action. The musician wears a pair of headphones and his voice is played back to him. He manages to sing, but the technique did have an effect on him:

The funny thing is, DAF doesn’t work if you stutter. In fact, it has the opposite effect, making stutterers speak better. That’s why there are programs – and even an iOS app – that cause DAF. I guess we’ll just have to deal with noisy stutterers with a good ol’ punch to the face.

[via Cornell University Library via Mashable & Reddit]

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