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Pleasant ambient alarms (waxing or waning in volume with necessity for attention) in situations where danger is increased by surprising actors involved

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022259D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 8K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This article briefly describes user interface aspects of audio. In particular it addresses the volume, location, appropriateness, and safety as considerations when designing audio interfaces.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Pleasant ambient alarms (waxing or waning in volume with necessity for attention) in situations where danger is increased by surprising actors involved

Noise is part of everyday life. From the moment you wake up to your blaring alarm clock until the time you turn off the evening news you are surrounded by sound. The sound of a horn can be used to warn you of an impending collision. The sound of a doorbell can tell you someone is at your front door. Sound can keep you safe at night as you sleep knowing that your smoke alarm could wake you if necessary. As technology becomes more pervasive, and everything in your home becomes wired, it stands to reason that the audio landscape will be littered with more self-monitoring devices vying for your attention through audio and other interfaces. Careful design and consideration is necessary when improving current interfaces and designing new ones to communicate through audio.

First an interface should not be dangerous. The example which comes to mind is the radar detector. The sudden discharge of a screech could and probably does jeopardize the safety of a driver. Utilization of the radio to change the music to a particular warning song would be preferable. In a similar manner an audio alert of a low gas tank, door ajar, or under inflated tires, should be environmental (fit into the context safely) rather than startling.

Second an interface should indicate the location of the problem through associative sounds. The standard...