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: