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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Teen Buzz - another Urban myth, or not ?

Well, it had to happen. Kids turn "teen repellent" sound into "teacher-proof" ringtones. Teen Buzz is outed.
Or, is it a new technology based Urban myth.
It's reported that Teenagers here in UK have cleverly become early adopters of a technology based science to communicate silently in class by text messages etc.
Apparently, school children are now downloading a high pitched MP3 ringtone called Teen Buzz to their mobile (cell) phones and using them in class to ring each other without Teacher hearing anything. Youngsters are able to share these Teen Buzz ringtones with each other by text or blue-tooth.
A great wheeze for the kids, if it actually works. More on the feasibility of this later.

This story started several months ago when a UK amateur inventor used physics to adapt an "anti-mosquito" device and invented a new electronics box to be placed outside local shops or buildings where teenagers hang out. When the youngsters (or feral youths !) become anti-social, shopkeepers can turn on a device which sends a high pitched tone (+15kHz.) out. This is a loud irritating whine to teen ears, but totally inaudable to most adults who can't hear sounds at this high frequency.

Thanks to my brother Alan in Chicago for the " Heads Up " from Boingboing.

You can read more here as to whether 15kHz. compressed MP3 ringtones can actually be audible to teens and not to adults.
Very helpfully, the kind Dan Lockton has created a range of 15 - 20kHz. mp3 and .wav ringtones for you to hear (or not, if you are 20 yrs.+) for yourself.

So, is this a real story, or another Urban Myth? What do you think?

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