The U.S. Navy has successfully invented a special electronic device that is designed to stop people from talking. A form of non-lethal weapon, the new electronic device effectively repeats a speaker’s own voice back at them, and only them, while they attempt to talk.
It was developed, and patented back in 2019 but has only recently been discovered, according to a report by the New Scientist.
The main idea of the weapon is to disorientate a target so much that they will be unable to communicate effectively with other people.
Called acoustic hailing and disruption (AHAD), the weapon is able to record speech and instantly broadcast it at a target in milliseconds. Much like an annoying sibling, this action will disrupt the target’s concentration, and, in theory, discourage them from continuing to speak.
It is important to note that the device is unlikely to be used on the battlefield anytime soon and will probably be used as a form of crowd control.
AHAD has been developed by engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare, Crane Division, a Navy research, and development facility in Indiana that develops handheld and crew-served weapons for the service.
As for the technical details of the device, a quick review of its patent is very interesting indeed.
“According to an illustrative embodiment of the present disclosure, a target’s speech is directed back to them twice, once immediately and once after a short delay. This delay creates delayed auditory feedback (DAF), which alters the speaker’s normal perception of their own voice. In normal speech, a speaker hears their own words with a slight delay, and the body is accustomed to this feedback. By introducing another audio feedback source with a sufficiently long delay, the speaker’s concentration is disrupted and it becomes difficult to continue speaking.”
If you want to see the thing in action, the patent filing handily also includes a sort of promotional video of another device that works in a similar way.