Microwave ray gun promises to put sounds in people's heads

As we've seen countless times, ray guns can employ any number of less than lethal means to stop their targets in their tracks, and it looks like the Sierra Nevada Corporation is making some progress on one of the more novel methods, with its MEDUSA system apparently able to beam sounds into people's heads. According to NewScientist, that's done by exploiting the "microwave audio effect," which uses short microwave pulses to rapidly heat tissue and cause a "shockwave inside the skull." The system (not exactly as pictured above), is also apparently also able to be fine-tuned enough to produce recognizable sounds, and the company claims that it's now ready to actually start building 'em in earnest. The US Navy, who funded the research, still seems to be staying mum on that last point though.

[Via Slashdot, image courtesy NASA.gov]