Inventions & TechNews

Device That Garbles Your Brain Awarded Ig Nobel Prize

Here’s something that doesn’t bother me at all.

It’s called the SpeechJammer, a device that, when pointed at someone, will repeat their own words back to them with a short delay, causing a disorienting echo effect that forces the person to just stop talking altogether.

It won the 2012 Ig Nobel Prize in Acoustics last week, which is basically a parody of the Nobel Prize, awarded to bizarre achievements in science.

But is this device bizarre and unusual, or frightening?

Created by Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada of Japan, the SpeechJammer may very well go on to be used during meetings and other public speaking situations, to prevent others from speaking out-of-turn. But you don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to understand the potential abuses of such technology.

Coupled with the technology used in direct-sound advertising, for example, our dystopian, post-apocalyptic future may be a very quiet one, indeed.

(Although, I admit, the video’s pretty funny.)

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Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. For nearly 10 years, he's managed Stranger Dimensions, providing a unique perspective on all matters involving time travel, parallel universes, and whether or not robots might one day take over the world.

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