Mosquito Devices Told To Buzz Off

A while back I wrote about Mosquito ringtones that most adults can’t hear, that kids were using in schools to receive calls and SMSs because their teachers couldn’t hear it. If you’ve never heard a Mosquito ringtone then there are some samples later on.

The ringtone is based upon the Mosquito device, that around 3,500 retailers have installed across the UK to keep kids away from their stores and premises. The Mosquito emits a very-high pitched whine that most people over 30 can’t hear, but becomes very annying for anyone under 30.

Finally a campaign has been started to ban these devices. The children’s commissioner, backed by civil liberties group Liberty, say the Mosquito should “Buzz off”.

Children’s commissioner for England, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, explained:

“These devices are indiscriminate and target all children and young people, including babies, regardless of whether they are behaving or misbehaving. The use of measures such as these are simply demonising children and young people, creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old.”

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti also said:

“What type of society uses a low-level sonic weapon on its children? Imagine the outcry if a device was introduced that caused blanket discomfort to people of one race or gender, rather than to our kids.”

Even though I can’t hear the device, I think it’s really unfair on law-abiding kids who just want to have a burger (even some McDonald’s have installed the device). I feel sorry for those babies who are getting distressed by the noise, and may even suffering long-term damage to their hearing, when their parents are eating in an establishments with a Mosquito. They surely must be breaking noise pollution laws, if they are loud or annoying enough to scare away children?

I hope somebody somewhere sees sense and bans these devices. If you want to listen to some Mosquito noises, and to check just how bad or good your hearing is, then check out these samples:

  • Everyone should be able to hear: 8khz
  • Everyone 60 and under: 10khz
  • Everyone 50 and under: 12khz
  • Everyone 40 and under: 15khz
  • Everyone 30 and under: 16khz
  • Everyone 24 and under (I couldn’t hear these and I’m 34): 17khz, 19khz, 20khz, 21khz, 22khz

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22 Responses to Mosquito Devices Told To Buzz Off

  1. bert February 25, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    Ever tried brainwave generator to create those tones? http://www.bwgen.com

  2. bert February 25, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    Ever tried brainwave generator to create those tones? http://www.bwgen.com

  3. Zath February 25, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I didn’t know that these “mosquito” sounds could be used as ringtones – interesting, not sure if that’s what I’d want on my phone though.

    Thanks for the example sounds, I’ve wondered what these actually sounded like – interestingly I’m 29 and can only hear up to 17 and 19khz.

  4. Zath February 25, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I didn’t know that these “mosquito” sounds could be used as ringtones – interesting, not sure if that’s what I’d want on my phone though.

    Thanks for the example sounds, I’ve wondered what these actually sounded like – interestingly I’m 29 and can only hear up to 17 and 19khz.

  5. Shashank February 25, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    These tones are irritating !
    Here is one website that provide stealth ringtones
    http://www.ninjaringtones.com/

  6. Shashank February 25, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    These tones are irritating !
    Here is one website that provide stealth ringtones
    http://www.ninjaringtones.com/

  7. Everton February 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    well my hearing is getting even worse – yesterday I could hear the 17khz, and now I can’t!!!

  8. Avatar of Everton
    Everton February 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    well my hearing is getting even worse – yesterday I could hear the 17khz, and now I can’t!!!

  9. Forest Parks February 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    I can’t hear 15hz and I am only 24! However I knew I had hearing problems. I am deaf almost completely in my right ear and had suspicions that something was happening with the left one! Dammit, However I don’t think it’s anything that will get worse except with age so I should be ok for a few more years yet :).

  10. Forest Parks February 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    I can’t hear 15hz and I am only 24! However I knew I had hearing problems. I am deaf almost completely in my right ear and had suspicions that something was happening with the left one! Dammit, However I don’t think it’s anything that will get worse except with age so I should be ok for a few more years yet :).

  11. Cesar February 26, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    I never heard this sound but in the Netherlands they use it too in places where “problems” kid might hanging to irrirate them.

  12. Cesar February 26, 2008 at 7:19 am #

    I never heard this sound but in the Netherlands they use it too in places where “problems” kid might hanging to irrirate them.

  13. Dave Starr February 26, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    I’m glad to see action being taken … I’m old, so I’ll never ‘hear’ those tones, buyt they register on aperson’s ears just the same … high frequency noise (which I used to have to deal with at work for hours on end) can result in headaches and other physical complaints. heraing is the act of the vibrations registering on the auditory nerves and being sent to the brain, but the ear drum and other parts of the ear are still affected, even when we can’t ‘hear’ the tones … much the same way that better quality high fidelity sound systems are more appealing, even though some reproduce frequenciesthat even the young can’t actually ‘hear’.

    Hmm, I feel good, I’m 62 and I can even hear the 16 khz … it’s much weaker than the others, but it is certainly ‘there’ and no I can’t ‘get’ any of the higher ones, but I’m not as deaf as my wife says i am after all ;-)

  14. Dave Starr February 26, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    I’m glad to see action being taken … I’m old, so I’ll never ‘hear’ those tones, buyt they register on aperson’s ears just the same … high frequency noise (which I used to have to deal with at work for hours on end) can result in headaches and other physical complaints. heraing is the act of the vibrations registering on the auditory nerves and being sent to the brain, but the ear drum and other parts of the ear are still affected, even when we can’t ‘hear’ the tones … much the same way that better quality high fidelity sound systems are more appealing, even though some reproduce frequenciesthat even the young can’t actually ‘hear’.

    Hmm, I feel good, I’m 62 and I can even hear the 16 khz … it’s much weaker than the others, but it is certainly ‘there’ and no I can’t ‘get’ any of the higher ones, but I’m not as deaf as my wife says i am after all ;-)

  15. Dave Helander April 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    I am 41 and can clearly hear up to 17khz. Either my hearing has yet to catch up to my nominal age, or the estimates of what age groups can and can’t hear what frequencies of sounds are not very exact. I do know that I don’t hear as well as I used to as a teenager, especially after spending 12 years working in machine shops, with loud equipment running near me most days, and very often without using any hearing protection.

  16. Dave Helander April 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm #

    I am 41 and can clearly hear up to 17khz. Either my hearing has yet to catch up to my nominal age, or the estimates of what age groups can and can’t hear what frequencies of sounds are not very exact. I do know that I don’t hear as well as I used to as a teenager, especially after spending 12 years working in machine shops, with loud equipment running near me most days, and very often without using any hearing protection.

  17. alina November 22, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

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  18. alina November 22, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

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  19. adam garrod December 29, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    my parents thought i was playing jokes when i told them about it then they did a test and i heard it still   now they believe me
     

  20. adam garrod December 29, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    my parents thought i was playing jokes when i told them about it then they did a test and i heard it still   now they believe me
     

  21. Rhys February 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m 18 and couldn’t hear anything above 16KHz.

  22. Rhys February 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    I’m 18 and couldn’t hear anything above 16KHz.