Throughout history, sound has been used to enhance the effectiveness of conventional and psychological military operations. Today, Warfighters use sonic devices for a wider variety of functions, including clear communication in the field at standoff distances, warning civilians away from bases, and nonviolently deterring potential enemy combatants.
The Joint Nonlethal Weapons Program sees the near future potential for sonic devices as not only improving existing functions but integrating with other nonlethal weapon systems.
Private firms have also worked to expand the role of these devices beyond their place in the military’s force escalation toolkit. The same devices used by the military have seen numerous applications in emergency responses, including directing port traffic during earthquake relief efforts in Haiti and broadcasting evacuation orders during a Colorado wildfire.