‘Inhuman Microphone’ App Circumvents Occupy Wall Street’s Megaphone Ban

‘Inhuman Microphone’ App Circumvents Occupy Wall Street’s Megaphone Ban

One of the most recognizable hallmarks of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been its “human microphone,” a technique through which protesters make speeches louder without the use of megaphones, which are banned from the protests. (Amplifying sound outdoors requires a permit in New York.)

The concept behind the human microphone is simple: The crowd repeats in unison what the speaker has said, chanting each sentence in succession so that people farther away can hear it. Depending on your point of view, it’s either inspiring or tiresome. The Inhuman Microphone does essentially the same thing — except it uses iPhones instead of human voices.

According to its creators, the use of hundreds or thousands of iPhone speakers rather than a single megaphone should be enough to get around New York’s ban on amplification, because no one would argue that a smartphone’s speaker would be covered by the ban. When these smartphones speak with one voice, as it were, they can not only increase the volume of the speaker’s voice, but spread it to locations throughout the protests.


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