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10. Mute button for noisy people. Ever dreamed of having a remote control to shut someone up? Now, thanks to a Japanese speech-jamming gun, you can. The device, dreamed up by Japanese inventors Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada, works by firing back a voice echo that stresses our brains and instantly silences us. It works from a distance of 90ft, so is perfect for dealing with unruly classrooms.

Top 10 innovations of the year

Sci fi became reality this year with Google Glasses - computer-powered glasses that layer email and sat-nav over the real world. But other inventors pioneered even crazier ideas - from a flying drone that bellows encouragement while you jog, to a gun that makes people stop talking using a weird sonic effect.