Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Together we'll break this chainsaw, love.

A while ago a company released a device which claims to discourage teenagers by emitting a high pitched noise that is amazingly annoying (which sounds like this: "You're beautiful..." Nah, only kidding). Due to the frequency drop-off in hearing after most people are older than about 20, non-teenagers can't hear the sound, at least not easily and not from a distance.

The teenagers have put this to use though, using samples of the alarm and using it as ringtones. When their phone goes off in class, the teachers can't hear it. That's got to say something about the suberting nature of the human condition; one the other hand it may just be a funny story.


Anonymous said...

Funny story I think. I've heard that the sound producing bits in a mobile phone wouldn't have the capability to reproduce a sound like this. Best to put the mobile on vibrate.


Matthew Cochrane said...

Vibrate is often noisey - but your comment about a phone's frequency output intrigued me enough to give it a try. So, I made a bunch of test-tones in Logic and saved them on to my phone as MP3s (I transfered the files over blue tooth). Now, the problem is that not being in my teens I can't really hear 20kHz. so I tested with 16kHz. which I can hear. I could hear my phone playing it back just fine.

In my limited ringtone experience it was always low frequencies which vanish on mobile phones.

Anonymous said...

I see. I sit corrected.
Also, vibrate can be noisy but it's still better than the "ring tone from hell" one of my work colleagues has which eventually got brought up at a staff meeting leading to a requirement that all personal mobiles be set on silent. Until that happened, he had treated our complaints (and threats to "nail the damn thing to him" because he was always leaving it at his desk) as a joke.