New Scientist (paywall) reports that the US Navy has acquired a patent for a handheld device called AHAD. This invention has a long-range microphone that picks up people's speech and plays it back at a slight time delay which can disrupt the target from speaking intelligibly.
The delay--which is 200 milliseconds long--is timed in such a way that is not simply annoying to the speaker, but also, as a neuroscientist explains, actually prevents the target from being able to communicate verbally.
The range is limited to about 30 meters. It can affect only a small target area, which means that listeners may not understand why the speaker has become unintelligible.
I can't wait until this invention reaches the civilian market!
-via Dave Barry | Photo: US Navy