The Origin and Use
The technology of mosquito ringtone is sourced from the "mosquito device"
developed by Howard Stapleton primarily to drive away the teenagers who hang
around the shops in UK. The device that Stapleton developed for Compound
Security Systems emitted a sound called "teen buzz" that caused a great deal of
annoyance to the teenagers or younger people. However people past the age of
teenagers remained largely unaffected by this modulated 17 kHz sound.
This same technology was used to develop mosquito ringtone with the only
exception that the frequency was kept constant at 17 kHz in this type of
ringtone. With advancing age, people start losing gradually the normal hearing
ability. This hearing impairment due to age is known as "presbycusis". The range
of audibility for a teenager is not what it is for older people. This phenomenon
is utilized in mosquito ringtone as the teenagers using this ringtone in their
mobiles can hear a call or get alerted by an incoming message without the elder
people knowing about it.
The situation can well be comprehended in a classroom scenario where a student
gets a call or a message in his mobile phone with mosquito ringtone with the
teacher not knowing about it. It thus became an instant hit with the teenagers
who could now use their mobiles with freedom and without interference by parents
or superiors. What started as a technology for security became a source of humor
and the mosquito ringtone powered the teenagers with "silent knowledge" that
they got from their mobiles without others" knowledge.
The product "mosquito device" is based on the principle that the high frequency
sounds that are not audible to the people advanced in age may be heard by
teenagers and can cause annoyance to them thus acting as a deterrent where the
situation so warranted. Manufactured by Compound Security, a British Company,
the product emitting 17 kHz high pitch sound that is more akin to the buzzing of
the insects intended to detract the young people from gathering in one place in
Shopping malls do not like the idea of teenagers and youths crowding the space
and would like them to scatter and move around instead of congregating. The
mosquito ringtone buzz if beamed continuously at this age group of people would
cause irritation and would drive them to move on.
The undesired gatherings at shopping malls are thus avoided. The mosquito device
from which the idea of mosquito ringtone has been derived was launched in 2005
and has since been found to be very useful by the business community and law
keepers. While it is appreciated by people benefiting from it as measure of
crime prevention, it has also been criticized by many as a health hazard and an
affront to the rights of people.
Mosquito ringtone is not supposed to be heard by older people as hearing ability
decreases with age. However often older people are reported to have been able to
hear the mosquito ringtone. Even for the children and the young, the mosquito
ringtone buzz may cause harm to the auditory organs.
Factors for Inaudibility
There are situations when the high frequency mosquito ringtone cannot be heard.
The various contributing factors for these may be natural, environmental or
merely psychological. Age is one of the most potent factors for inaudibility of
mosquito ringtone. As people grow older, the internal organs for hearing like
the inner ear and the eardrum become weaker. The very high frequency sounds
cannot be heard as people advance in age which has been medically established.
Continuous exposure over a long period of time to extremely high frequency
sounds and noise pollution causes hearing impairment. People who are fond of
turning on their music at a very high volume are prone to this risk of loss of
hearing. Also workplaces with lot of high decibel sounds adversely impact the
hearing ability of a person working at those places.
As the hearing gets impaired over a period of time, the internal ear organs
gradually lose their ability to hear high pitch sounds. Apart from this, in an
environment full of noise, it cannot be made certain that the high frequency
tone like the mosquito ringtone can be audible. The noise that is always there
at the background acts as a barrier for one to listen to the mosquito ringtone.
Often people cover their cellphones with protective cases or pouches. They block
the speakers on the cellphones. Since high frequency sounds like mosquito
ringtone cannot easily pass through such barriers, the person carrying the
cellphone covered with pouch can hardly hear the sound.
The higher the volume of a cellphone, the easier it is for obvious reason to
hear the mosquito ringtone. Loudspeakers in cellphones make hearing of high
frequency sounds easier. A person’s proximity to his cellphone is also a
factor that facilitates hearing of mosquito ringtone. However it must be noted
that ears should not be placed too close to the speakers or directly in contact
with them as the high volume in which the tone is played might cause damage to