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Future Riot Shields Will Suffocate Protestors with Low Frequency Speakers

Illustration for article titled Future Riot Shields Will Suffocate Protestors with Low Frequency Speakers

It's not the first crowd control tool to use sound waves, but Raytheon's patent for a new type of riot shield that produces low frequency sound waves to disrupt the respiratory tract and hinder breathing, sounds a little scary.

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Crowd control tools like the LRAD Sound Cannon emit bursts of loud and annoying sounds that can induce headaches and nausea. But Raytheon's non-lethal pressure shield creates a pulsed pressure wave that resonates the upper respiratory tract of a human, hindering breathing and eventually incapacitating the target. The patent points out that the sound waves being generated are actually not that powerful, so while protestors might collapse from a lack of oxygen reaching their brains, their eardrums won't be damaged in the process. Phew!

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And like Roman soldiers joining their shields to form a large impenetrable wall, these new riot shields can actually be networked together to form a larger acoustical horn, vastly improving their range, power, and effectiveness. There's no word on what the long-term medical implications might be if you find yourself on the wrong side of one of these shields. But I imagine the unpleasant experience is not unlike being force choked from afar by Darth Vader. [Google Patents via New Scientist]

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DISCUSSION

FACT: Every sound has an inversion that can cancel it out. All someone needs to do is tinker with a noise-canceling device like the one used on cars and this overpriced bullhorn becomes useless.