Main | Friday, September 03, 2010

Bugging Teenagers

A "mosquito" device has been installed at the Chinatown entrance to DC's Metro system in hopes that its shrill tone will drive away lingering teenagers. The sound is only audible to young people.
Similar devices have been installed in Britain with the same purpose of discouraging young people from congregating outside shops. According to Councilmember Jack Evans, the founder of the Gallery Place development had the device installed on his company's Gallery Place building. These devices are wrong and most likely illegal as well. This device was placed at a popular Metro entrance and just a few feet from a popular bus stop. Toddlers, teenagers, and young adults waiting for the bus or emerging from the Metro will now have to endure a shrill screech purposely aimed at annoying them and driving them away.
According to the above-linked story, such devices may violate the DC Human Rights Act. Many teens install the sound as their cellphone ringtone so that adults (usually teachers) can't hear their phone ringing. The below clip demonstrates the frequencies which cannot be heard by older people.

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