Perfect device for an election year: SpeechJammer

The folks at the Annals of Improbable Research sure got the timing right in announcing the 2012 Ig Nobel prize winners in acoustics, Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada, who won it for their SpeechJammer device.  Awesome for stump speeches and debates!  Brilliant for that obnoxious drunk in the subway!  Combine it with face recognition and motion tracking, and you can silence those Occupy folks in a hurry.  Or… bring it to David Letterman’s show… the possibilities are nearly endless.

And how about turning it into an app for cell phones and VoIP systems to thwart telemarketers?  Kurihara-sanTsukada-san!  There’s more work to be done!


2 thoughts on “Perfect device for an election year: SpeechJammer

  1. SursumCorda

    Based on my experience with the much milder echo problems on our three-way calls, I can understand why this would make people stop talking. As you said, the possibilities! It would be tempting to try it on a crying baby, but too cruel. A whining child, however….

    What I’d really like to have is something that would shut up a noisy neighbor’s stereo system.

    Did you check out the four-minute Superman video on Kurihara’s website? What struck me was that the pace was not significantly faster than the pace in most modern movies and TV shows. The past truly was a slower time.

  2. thduggie Post author

    I don’t know if it would even work on a crying baby. I think it’ll only work on someone trying to utter more precise sounds and listening to himself for confirmation – but I don’t really know for sure.

    For the noisy stereo, perhaps the SpeechJammer would nevertheless work, if you could separately aim the mic and the speaker: the mic at the stereo, and the speaker at the listener. If nothing else, he’d be checking his stereo in a hurry, but in the best case just get unhappy with it without even really knowing why and turn it off.

    Yes, I did think that the Superman video was not quite as fast as I would have supposed at 4x the speed. But by the time the four minutes were up, I was done watching. I found it uncomfortable.


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