Getting people to shut up is one of those wonderful little powers we all wish we had. We’ve all been in a conversation with someone and halfway through realized listening to them speak can be detrimental to our mental health. Or maybe we’ve sat in a movie theater not being able to hear a crucial bit of dialogue because some jackass in the back is trying to be the class clown because no one will listen to him unless you cram them in to a darkened box filled with people.
In those moments, we all wish we had a gun that could shut that person up. But real guns are too violent. Whip out one of those in a theater and suddenly everyone has something to say, mostly “Ahhhhh! A gun!” To which you respond, “Yeah, thanks, Capitan Obvious. Pfft! This guy…”
Enter the SpeechJammer, which is a set of words that sound a stage direction from the screenplay of a particularly nasty and cruel porn involving oral sex.
A team of Japanese researchers have developed a device that can shut you up in seconds. The SpeechJammer, which looks a bit like a traffic cop’s radar gun, essentially hacks your brain in to confusion and you willingly stop speaking because, well, you just kind of give up after you notice the futility of it all.
As soon as you start speaking, the SpeechJammer begins recording your words and immediately plays them back to you a fraction of a second later. Have you ever been talking on your cell phone and experienced a terrible echo that slllllllooooowwwwsss dooooowwwnnnn yoooooouuuurrr sppppppeeeeccchhh paaaaatttteerrrrnnsss beeeeccaassuuee youuurree connnnfuuusseeeddd asssss to whhhaaat theeee f******ckkkk issss haaappppeeennniinngg? That’s what the SpeechJammer does, just now the person you’re talking to is looking you in the eye and thinks you’re having a stroke.
The effects of the SpeechJammer are only felt by the person it’s being directed towards. This is accomplished with a directional microphone, which records the speech of the blabbering individual, and a directional speaker, which spits the blabbering individual’s speech back at the blabbering individual and no one else.
Overall, it’s amazing and goddamn terrifying.
Freedom of speech? This thing, quite literally, removes your ability to speak, and it’s as easy as pulling a trigger attached to a black box. Here’s a video that demonstrates the simplicity and ease-of-use of the technological innovation that may one day be used to hit the mute button on disagreement.
The SpeechJammer, while impressive, should have a shotgun held to it head and mercy killed, like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Jeff Goldblum’s character in The Fly was amazed and awe-struck by what he had accomplished, but ultimately even he knew that the world didn’t need a human-sized bug. I, and I think all of us, applaud the team of Japanese researchers that created the SpeechJammer. You have created something simple, yet rather remarkable. Now burn it and all of your research in a fire before the next Hitler gets a hold of it. And after you burn it, stick around for a while and watch the smoldering ashes – creatures of supreme villainy tend to pop their hand out of the wreckage when they think no one is looking.