A new range of ringtones claiming to offer a diverse range of impulses to Japanese mobile phone lovers have arrived are apparently inspiring people to do more housework and improve their skin.
The so-called 'therapeutic ringtones' have become something of a craze in Japan, particularly amongst the younger generation who use the melodies to get over hangovers and even cure sleeplessness.
There is minimal scientific backing being given to these new ringtones, with nothing but the word of the head of the Ringing Tone Laboratory to support the wild claims being made for their calming powers.
Matsumi Suzuki is backing the therapeutic ringtones and his previous work in the manipulative powers of sounds has included a high-pitched mosquito-like noise that was developed to stop teens "congregating in parks at midnight" whilst remaining undetected by older members of the population.
Japanese mobile software developer Index told the Times: "The number of downloads suggests the ringtones must be working to a certain extent" However, since it is behind the marketing and retail of the tones, it cannot be said to be totally reliable.
Index has also been responsible for an iPhone app allowing users to convert the barking of their dog into words that the owner can understand. Bowlingual was another pseudo-scientific audio application which captured the imagination of consumers.
Two Japanese youngsters were encouraged to try out one of the therapeutic tones for the Times piece and the results were less than conclusive.
When listening to a tone that was aimed to encourage productivity in the face of daunting housework, the pair were not particularly impressed.
A mixture of techno, Schubert and animal sounds is combined to alleviate skin problems and according to one teen "it might subconsciously make you think of washing your face and that is good for the skin".
The latest in the outlandish line-up of ringtones is an anti-hay fever track that is claimed to be able to dislodge the pollen from the sinuses of an afflicted listener.
Since each nasal cavity responds to different resonance, there are various versions of this tone on offer, although it could work just as well as a placebo regardless as to its real scientific merits.