You have to just love Japan sometimes. They really enjoy pushing the innovation envelope into places that most people’s mind or imagination don’t even dare to venture into.
This comes from a sci-fi publication somewhere but a Japanese company has developed a gun that “discombobulates” the target and renders them mute because their brain refuses to create sounds. Sounds crazy right? Well it is! But shh… If they hear you say that… you might be next.
So how does this crazy gun work? It operates based on the concept of delayed auditory feedback. It uses an attached microphone that picks up the sound being made by the target and then plays it back 0.2 seconds later. The effect is incredibly confusing to the human brain, making it all but impossible to talk or hold a conversation. The device doesn’t cause the person it’s being used on any physical harm — it simply messes with their head. Oh yeah. Much better.
So why does it work? Well, when the human brain hears its own speech perfectly in sync during normal speech, it easily processes the input and allows you to largely ignore the sound of your own voice. However, by offsetting the response just a bit, the brain hears your mouth speaking as well as the strange echo effect produced by the gun. This unusual combination is confusing enough to effectively shut down the part of your brain responsible for managing speech, and you fall immediately silent.
The developers say the gun could be used for seemingly innocuous purposes, such as enforcing rules requiring library patrons to keep quiet. It could also see action during large meetings when it is important that onlookers not disrupt the speaker; anyone who fancies a noisy outburst would immediatley be silenced by the high-tech handheld.
Obviously, anyone that’s found themselves in a relationship that has lasted quite some time is already mentally salivating at the thought of having a device that could instantaneously “shut someone up”. I would be curious if this would work on any sounds and not just words or speech patterns. For example, barking dogs, crying babies, noisy neighbours, snoring partner, oh the list could go on forever.
Now before all you husbands out there get excited, its still in the prototype phase. Although they have made significant improvements to the design (it was originally required a computer, several lengths of cable, and a dolly with wheels, but is now in the handheld version found in the picture above) it might not be the cheapest way to avoid an argument or a nagging partner. In a few years, this technology might even be standard on let’s say the iPhone 6 (or THE NEW IPHONE-*groan*) and probably many android devices.
What do you think? Are you going to pre-order this for next Valentine’s day? Haha. Let us know below!