SpeechJammer to Stop Every Talk


Engineers from the Land of the Rising Sun have created a speaker that can silence anyone. This safe device uses biologists’ knowledge about the speech centers of the brain.

Kazutaka Kurihara from the National Institute of Industrial Science and Technology and Koji Tsukada from the University of Ochanomizu have studied the research papers of psychologists and found that people are almost unable to pronounce anything, when their words are echoed back to them with an ultra-short delay.

The Japanese decided to use this effect to construct a SpeechJammer device, which could stop any conversation. To do this, they combined a microphone and a speaker in a single gadget. The microphone records the voice of the speaking person, and the speaker relays it to the side of the speaking person with a delay of 0.2 seconds.

Both the microphone and the speaker can be directed, that is why the device can be used as a gun, to force a specific person or a group of people keep silence. However, the distance which the silencer “copes with” should not exceed 30 meters.

In addition to the microphone and the speaker, the gadget is also equipped with a laser pointer, a range finder, a chip that calculates all the distances and sent signals, and a battery.

The engineers have tried an unusual silencer and said that its impact did not cause any physical discomfort in chatting people. While testing the new item, a number of other interesting details were discovered.

Thus, the silencer can not stop meaningless sounds, like sighs and interjections. SpeechJammer also proved to be more effective when the delay was varied and when it was used against people reading aloud, rather than having a spontaneous monologue.