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Japanese researchers Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada have invented a way to stop people talking in their tack.s

Everyone seems to have a co-worker or friend that just doesn’t seem to stop talking, ever. Well, two young researchers in Japan have created a literal gun (you point it at someone’s face and pull the trigger) that make even the loudest, most obtrusive talkers, silent.

Science on MSNBC News writes:

BOSTON — For anyone who’s ever been tired of listening to someone drone on and on and on, two Japanese researchers have the answer. The SpeechJammer, a device that disrupts a person’s speech by repeating his or her own voice at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds, was named Thursday as a 2012 winner of the Ig Nobel prize — an award sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine for weird and humorous scientific discoveries. The echo effect of the device is just annoying enough to get someone to sputter and stop. Actually, the device created by Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada is meant to help public speakers by alerting them if they are speaking too quickly or have taken up more than their allotted time. “This technology … could also be useful to ensure speakers in a meeting take turns appropriately, when a particular participant continues to speak, depriving others of the opportunity to make their fair contribution,” said Kurihara, of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan. Still, winning an Ig Nobel in acoustics for the device’s other more dubious purpose is cool too. “Winning an Ig Nobel has been my dream as a mad scientist,” he said.


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