Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ringtone Teachers Can't Hear

While browsing for a new ring tone the other day, I came across several articles describing the new trend in texting and ring tone sounds. It is a high pitched sound that many teenagers are downloading from the Internet, it is coined with being a sound only the younger generation can hear. With its invention, kids can receive texts and communicate with friends in the classroom without their teachers noticing. The key age group that the tone is designed for is under age 20. As people age, they develop what many refer to as "aging ear." Presbycusis, as it is technically called, is the loss of the ability to hear higher frequency sounds as one ages. Most human communication takes place in a frequency range between 200 and 8,000 hertz, most adults' ability to hear frequencies higher than that begins to deteriorate in early middle age. The funny part about the ring tone is that it is a spin off of technology that was originally meant to repel teenagers, not to help them. A Welsh security company developed the tone to help shopkeepers disperse young people loitering in front of their stores while leaving adults unaffected. The company called the product the "mosquito." The ring tone has been tested in classes of children as young as elementary school. All of the children could easily hear the noise, whereas the adults remained completely unaware.

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