Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just One More Way to Drive Teenagers Crazy

Don't like teenagers? Wish they would just ... go away?

A device called the Mosquito, which emits a high-pitched whine that only teens can hear, is being installed outside buildings, in shopping malls and in parks to drive away the young.

The Compound Security Systems website says: "... the device was first used at a Spar shop in Barry, South Wales, where the owner Robert Gough was enthusiastic about the device's success in driving away the local youths. 'Either someone has come along and wiped them off the face of the earth, or it's working' he is quoted as saying."

Compound Security markets the Mosquito to those whose business is "suffering from antisocial youths ... generally causing damage or nuisance." It asks: "Are you bothered by crowds of teenagers hanging around your street and making life unpleasant?"

According to an AP story published on Huffington Post, almost 1,000 units have been sold in the U.S. and Canada. The device is sold under the name of "Kids Be Gone."

Can you hear the whine? Listen to this audio/video:

The NY Post tried out the Mosquito in Washington Square Park and Midtown.

"It's obnoxious, high-pitched and painful," said one 19-year-old.

UPDATE: Can't hear the 15khz whine in the above audio/video? You may not be losing your hearing -- yet. Eli Janney, Boerum Hill audio engineer (visit his site: said he "panicked a bit" when he couldn't hear the tone: "A audio engineer who can't hear 15khz would quickly be out of a job!"

Eli says: "I researched a bit and found out that Youtube audio is compressed down to 22khz sampling rate, which mean the highest possible frequency is 11khz, as long as there is no errors at all (which there always are). So with that sample from Youtube, NO ONE will be able to hear the higher frequencies since they won't be transmitted!"

We're all very happy about this here at McBrooklyn. (Now we're looking for that 13-year-old who told us she could hear those tones...)

Photo: "Crazy" by Merfam, Creative Commons license


Anonymous said...

Would it be wrong of me if I get one of those for the little brats (no more than 9 years old) who are allowed to play on their deck until 11 o'clock every night? They keep me awake since they're mere feet away from my apartment bedroom window and I've got to get up by 4:30 every morning. (And where are the parents?) I don't have the heart to yell at the kids . . . they're not misbehaving just unsupervised. Can I report it to social services?

Anonymous said...

How about in bars where stroller parents bring their little kids.

Anonymous said...

I tell you man, this new generation of teens and kids act like brats and annoying

Steve Kinney said...

As a middle school teacher who is tired of trying to get his students attention, I am interested... very interested.

Sochu said...

Wow. Let's keep it in perspective, people. I'm amazed that Brooklynites wouldn't think this through. Everyone who can hear it is guilty and should be attacked with piercing noise from a machine? Thankfully it's clearly against civil rights in this country. You guys watch too much Fox news if you really think that ALL adolescents are troublemakers that should be barred from any public place that can buy this device. I wonder if the cops used a similar device to keep people from protesting the war or other social ills would people find it so wonderful.