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speechjammer Silencing someone could be much easier thanks to an original and controversial Japanese invention. Two Japanese researchers have created SpeechJammer , a gadget that when “triggered” can cause a person to stop speaking in a matter of seconds , interrupting their speech in the middle of a sentence.

The creators of this invention, from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan and Ochanomizu University, assure in an article published in arVix that the device does not cause any physical discomfort and thatstops acting as soon as the interlocutor stops talking. Its operation is based on the fact that psychologists discovered years ago that it is almost impossible to speak when we hear our own words with a delay of only a fraction of a second. Kurihara and Tsukada have created a portable device with a built-in microphone, which records a fragment of the conversation, and a loudspeaker that plays it back 0.2 seconds later. Both elements are directional, so they can be activated from a distance, as if we were “firing” a weapon, although in this case it only emits sounds.

In the article, the authors assure thatthis ingenuity could improve the dynamics of communication in discussions and debates, especially when an interlocutor gets tiresome. ORmute someone speaking out loud in a library or movie theater, and even an office colleague who chatters incessantly on the phone in a high tone of voice, annoying his co-workers. At the moment, they have made no mention of the ethical and legal aspects that a machine would have that forces people to stop talking.


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