She flicks through a menu of alternative tunes and settles on one that offers to improve her skin tone through the power of alpha-waves.
Ms Sendo and her friend Ayaka Wakabayashi are among an army of young Japanese drawn to the allure of “therapeutic ringtones” — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover.
Mr Suzuki’s adventures in the realm of mood-altering ringtones follow a career at the National Research Institute of Police Science, where he made award-winning advances in the field of voiceprints. One of his proudest achievements was the development of a synthetic mosquito noise that is inaudible to Japan’s over-60s but supposedly discourages teenagers from “congregating in parks at midnight”.
Index’s other innovations include an iPhone application that translates your dog’s bark; the “Bowlingual” automatic canine interpreter draws on an database of woofs from dozens of species. The first therapeutic tone, a high-energy rhythm, tested for The Times by Ms Sendo and Ms Wakabayashi, was supposed to provide a sudden burst of impetus to sluggardly housewives. Yukari and Ayaka had their doubts.
The tone that is said to improve skin mixes a burst of electro-Schubert with woodland noises such as birdsong and streams. “I suppose it might subconsciously make you think of washing your face, and that is good for the skin,” said Ayaka. “At least, it would certainly send you towards the bathroom.”
Mr Suzuki’s latest ringtone has been timed to coincide with the Japanese hay fever season. The Ohana Sukkiri Melody emits a series of sounds at different frequencies “so that people can choose the sound that resonates most to their sinus and causes pollen lodged there to fall from the nasal cavity”.
This popular application works through what Index describes as a careful selection of “pulse-melodies” chosen for their astonishing atunement to the body’s “medical rhythms”. Testers concluded that a fried breakfast, though less portable, still had the edge. (TimesOnline)