(CBS News) Japanese researchers have found the answer to one of life's oldest questions: "How can I get that person to shut up?"
Researchers Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Ochanomizu University, respectively, published a paper with details of a gun they are calling the "SpeechJammer."
The device works by "shooting" the offending voice back at the source. Users can literally aim at a target and pull the trigger.
"In general, human speech is jammed by giving back to the speakers their own utterances at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds," the researchers said in the paper. "This effect can disturb people without any physical discomfort, and disappears immediately by stop speaking."
By exploiting a phenomenon called Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), the researchers were able to trick the brain into vocal submission. The idea is that when we speak, we don't just generate sound. Our brains actually need to hear what comes out of our mouths. It's called "auditory feedback."