A new hand-held gun created by Japanese researchers has a startling capability: It can stop a person from speaking mid-sentence.

(NIAIST/Ochanomizu University) The device, developed by Kazutaka Kurihara at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Koji Tsukada at Ochanomizu University, can jam the words of speakers more than 100 feet away, Yahoo News reports.

The gun works by using the concept of delayed auditory feedback. A microphone attached to the device picks up the words being said — and then plays it back 0.2 seconds later. The human brain, hearing this echo effect, becomes immediately confused and interprets it as silence. The device has no harmful effects.

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