Compound Security Systems, I salute you. First you create an electronic version of OFF! that lets businesses repel teens. Then you find a way to sell it to the teens themselves. Genius. Pure genius.
For those who have not heard yet of CSS' Mosquito, let me tell you a tale that sounds (or more accurately doesn't sound) too good to be true, that of the Mosquito ultrasonic teenage deterrent. Before you start with jokes about responsibility and kids, here's how the company describes it:
The Mosquito ultrasonic teenage deterrent is the solution to the eternal problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls and around shops.
The loudspeaker system emits a tone, audible only to those under the age of 25. Seriously. Here, listen for yourself. I am told by kids, ages 11 and 6, there is an annoying siren-like buzz. All I hear is ambient sound. But the BBC reports the thing works smashingly well, as they say over there. And how do the kids themselves feel about a noise that shoos them away like flies?
They love it. Seriously. Because parents, and more importantly teachers can't hear it. Papers across the UK are reporting the hottest new ring tone being swapped by kids is "Teen Buzz," a hacked version of the Mosquito tone.
Schoolchildren have recorded the sound, which they named Teen Buzz, and spread it from phone to phone via text messages and Bluetooth technology. Now they can receive calls and texts during lessons without teachers having the faintest idea what is going on.
And you were worried about kids these days.
But how much would that piss you off if you're CSS, a company making $1,000 a pop selling teen repellent? If you're the Recording Industry Association of America you sue every kid you can find with the pirated ring tone. (Insert tone-deaf joke here.)
Thankfully CSS seems to have uncommon sense. Within two days, the CSS web site announced the coming of "Authentic Mosquito" ring tones.
Why settle for some cheap knockoff on your phone? They'll sell you the real deal. They'll even sell the file adapted to use on your computer when being heard isn't in your best interest.
So guess what the most popular ring tone is likely to be by the end of the summer. Then again, I'll never hear it to know for sure.
Author Todd Coplevitz
Date 27 May 2006