Every once in a while a ringtone will somehow capture the attention of the masses. A great example of this was the "crazy frog" ringtone. The sound that would eventually become the basis of the crazy frog ringtone was invented by then 17-year old student Daniel Malmedahl while trying to imitate the noises made by a two-stroke moped engine. His sound steadily gained popularity on the web until Swedish animator Erik Wernquist created a "Crazy Frog" animation to accompaniment Malmedahl's quirky and annoying sound. Wernquist's animation coupled with Malmedahl's sound quickly exploded around the internet and became a web phenomenon. In 2004, Jamba licensed the animation and sound creating the "Crazy Frog" ringtone. Since then, Jamba estimates that the "Crazy Frog" ringtone has earned over 14 million Euros, making it one of the most successful ringtones ever. Furthermore, the "Crazy Frog" concept has spawned countless pieces of merchandise, remixes galore and even video games.
The Mosquito Ringtone is now all the rage, but it was also conceivable as something other than a ringtone. Although the Mosquito Ringtone is hugely popular now, it did not come from such innocent origins as the "Crazy Frog" ringtone. So what's all the fuss about the Mosquito Ringtone? Here's how it all started.
In 2005, British inventor Howard Stepleton created "The Mosquito." "The Mosquito" is a device that emits an ultrasonic sound that usually only teenagers can actually hear. Only teenagers can hear the sound frequencies emitted by "The Mosquito" because as we grow older, our hearing ability gradually deteriorates and we're able to hear fewer of these ultrasonic frequencies. Thus, adults are often unable to hear the annoying ultrasonic sounds that "The Mosquito" emits. Stepleton invented the device as a tool that would help keep unruly youth from loitering around storefronts causing a disturbance to the business of shopkeepers.
The real benefit of "The Mosquito" for storekeepers was that it could ward off unsavory teens, without disturbing the ears of those deep-pocked adults. So how did this anti teen-loitering ultrasonic sound device become a hugely popular ringtone? The answer is actually quite ironic, given that the original application of "The Mosquito" was to discourage negative behavior by young adults.