According to a patent, the U.S. Navy is working on a non-lethal weapon that makes it almost impossible to speak. It’s called handheld acoustic hairing and disruption (AHAD).
The device would use a long-range microphone that, recording the voice of the individual, reproduces it in real time thanks to powerful speakers. The voice, however, is transmitted late, creating an annoying “eco effect.” In theory, this continuous loop of words would make it extremely difficult to continue conversations, impertinent verbal communication.
The patent was filed in 2019, but was granted to the Navy just this month. The inventors, to make it even more disruptive and annoying, suggest using a directional speaker, able to transmit the sound accurately to a small area. In this way, people nearby would have no idea who was targeted.
The technology in question is based on the principle of Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), a tool used for stuttering. However, in those who do not stutter this tool can be extremely annoying. According to an interview with cognitive neurosciencen Sophie Scott, such a tool could inhibit the ability to control our own voice.
Some individuals may start stuttering, some may stop talking altogether, while others may start distorting their speech. What good would a weapon like that do? To destroy verbal communication. Imagine using the weapon in the middle of a battle, where communication can be vital, and completely cut this possibility.
From this point of view, even if the weapon is not lethal, it still remains frightening. About weapons: The United States is trying to create the most powerful laser cannon in history and assault rifles with facial recognition.