The new weapon can make people hear things that aren't there. Image Credit: US Military / JNLWD
The Pentagon has been working on a new non-lethal weapon that can make people hear voices and sounds.
Developed as part of the US military's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWD), the chilling invention is designed to disperse crowds, quell riots and discourage violence.
Those in the firing line will start to hear words or sounds as if from thin air, making it possible to discourage a riotous mob by, for example, making them believe that they are being fired upon.
Specific individuals can also be manipulated by having them hear a disembodied voice.
The new weapon uses two lasers. The first shoots a burst of focused light for 10-15 seconds, ripping the electrons from air molecules and forming plasma. The second laser then shoots at this plasma field, manipulating it in such a way so as to produce light and noise.
With enough precision, this audio can be directed at a specific individual without anyone else actually being able to hear it.
The same technology could also be used as a form of discrete, long-distance communication.