Monday, May 29, 2006

Vive la Resistance!

Over the last couple of years, a battery of control devices has been marketed to exploit suspicion of young people, and it’s heartening to see just how skilfully these weapons are being turned around and sent straight back.

When mobile phone tracking was introduced, for instance, many young people were quick to point out the potential of offering baby-sitting services: collect everyone’s mobile for a quid a go, spend the evening at the church youth club with a rucksack full of phones and everybody’s happy.

The latest fightback is over the ‘Mosquito’ – an appalling device that emits a high-pitched sound that (allegedly) only under-20s can hear. It’s being marketed as a means of keeping young people out of public spaces,
but that’s not all it can do:
An alarm designed to clear teenaged gangs out of shopping centres has been sampled by teenagers so they can hear their phone ringing in class. It works because the noise cannot be heard by anyone over the age of 20…

Teenagers have now sampled the sound, known as Teen Buzz to those swapping it over Bluetooth and text messages, so they can hear their phone ringing without the teacher knowing.


At Friday, June 02, 2006 7:00:00 AM, Anonymous Watching Them, Watching Us said...

Looks like the rest of the blogosphere and media are waking up to this story.

Links to sound samples, discussions of the frequency response of the loudspeakers in phones etc.

Architectures of Control in Design

Boing Boing

Google search for "Teen Buzz ringtone"


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