SpeechJammer device mutes human speech

A device developed in Japan over the past year and revealed this week to the public has the ability to "jam" the words of a real human being. This device goes by the name of SpeechJammer and takes the words of a speaker, playing them back to the speaker with 0.2 seconds delay. This process creates what's called DAF, the Delayed Auditory Feedback effect, and almost immediately causes any human to find themselves incapable of speaking coherently.

The report on this technology is titled "SpeechJammer: A System Utilizing Artificial Speech Disturbance with Delayed Auditory Feedback" and is written up by Kazutaka Kurihara of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Koji Tsukada of Ochanomizu University. What you see above is a prototype of said technology, complete with a basic guide of what the different bits do in turn. As Kurihara and Tsukada note in their report:

"This effect can disturb people without any physical discomfort, and disappears immediately."

They go on to note the possible uses of this technology as its developed into more advanced and physically smaller devices, noting that great things could be accomplished by it in the future:

"Communication is the most important means of resolving conflict," say the researchers, but "there are still many cases in which the negative aspects of speech become a barrier to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, sometimes further harming society."

Of course there's no telling what terrible things could be done should the system and its technology be used for "evil" so to speak. Potentially terrible things on the horizon!

[via Cornell University Library]