Researchers out of Shanghai’s Fudan University have invented a “directional loudspeaker” which they claim will blast sounds to targeted areas without being heard elsewhere as a solution to the groups of noisy dancing elderly women taking over public spaces and causing complaints among residents.
The group dances, or guangchangwu, are usually comprised of middle-aged women and elderly retirees who gather in public parks and squares to exercise through choreographed moves. The spectacle is often accompanied by blaring music that’s become a nuisance to local residents, so much that some have resorted to intimidation tactics, like the throwing of feces, to scare the grannies off.
Researchers at Fudan University hope that the new loudspeakers will allow residents to live in harmony with the old dancing women because, frankly, it looks like they’re here to stay. SCMP reports:
Professor Feng Jianmin, from the university’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, said the speaker could “effectively contain sound waves in a certain area”. This means the sound coming from the speaker gets weaker outside the designated zone, meaning less people will be disturbed.
The directional loudspeaker transmits at a certain frequency that makes it sound naturally filtered out in the air, according to the report. The scientists said it transmits a signal similar to laser propagation, where molecules can travel from point to point without scattering.
Feng said the invention could also be used in the waiting areas of buses, train stations and airports, broadcasting messages to particular groups of people without creating extra noise.
The loudspeakers will cost several hundred to a few thousand yuan and are expected to be released at the end of the year.
Last month, fed-up residents in the city of Wenzhou spent 260,000 yuan on a “treble cannon” that emits thundering noises to protest the dancers and last August, a man released his three Tibetan Mastiffs on the elderly dancers near his home to shoo them away.
Despite their best efforts, however, it looks like the movement is still going global. Earlier this week a Weibo user posted images of Chinese senior ladies square-dancing in France’s Place du Louvre.