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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Acoustic Riot Shield

For those of you who've considered using your music as a weapon at one time or another  (I know you're out there), now comes a patent from Raytheon for a new type of riot shield that generates extremely loud pulses to disrupt the respiratory tract and hinder the breathing of the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

The shield has a heads-up display that allows the operator to set it to warn, stun or incapacitate. 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. Of course, since this is the age of communication, shields can even be networked to fire as one, so there goes the "not that powerful" argument.

Essentially the shield is a folded acoustic horn that focuses a tunable 500 to 5kHz pluses singly or in multiples. No word on how much these may cost (a lot, I suspect), how much they'll weigh, or if you'll have to enroll in the Darth Vader School of Policing to operate one.

You can read the patent for yourself here. In the meantime, rejoice in the fact that we only have to deal with traditional riot shields during peaceful protests for now.

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