September 5, 2021
-Not The Bee
I have no idea what practical purpose this would serve other than annoying people, but hey, it’s a thing now.
— Interesting Engineering (@IntEngineering) September 2, 2021
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.
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’s comforting to know that the Navy can keep enemies from talking. It could also do that with bright lights and loud explosions, but I suppose this is far more creative.
Is an enemy captain about to give the order to fire a nuke at you? Just fire up the old AHAD device, point it at the enemy’s bridge, and annoy that captain so much that he collapses in exhaustion.
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.
Oh, okay. Well, I’m sure it’ll only be put to noble purposes and not silencing Americans it labels extremists!
AHAD works by using a series of directional microphones and speakers that can target a speaker’s voice. The speech is then recorded and transmitted back in the same direction.
Interestingly, the broadcasted sound is on a narrow beam and will only be heard by the speaker. This will not only confuse the target but, ultimately, prevent them from being to concentrate and stop talking. The behavior of the target will be noticeably altered by the action, likely also confusing anyone who was listening to the target person. Put another way, such a weapon will make you think you’re going crazy — so too the people around you.
Except now that we know this is a thing, we’ll just assume the Navy is up to some high-tech tricks!
I also love the assumption that this would keep people from talking. It might confuse them, but do you think it would stop them from communicating? If I were a terrorist about to blow up a bomb, do you think I’d just give up because I was confused to death?
It is also important to note that devices like AHAD could have other applications too. For example, it could be used as a form of electronic hailing device between ships.
More intriguingly, as the patent alludes to, “by aiming AHAD system at a wall or corner, AHAD system can also project sound to the target surface such that audio appears to originate from the target.”
Hey, if the Navy is bored enough to need new fun ways to talk to each other, I’m game.
Just keep that thing pointed away from me, please.