University of Limerick
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Design exploration in interactive sonification

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posted on 2012-08-23, 10:58 authored by Mikael Fernström
This thesis examines interactive sonification, in particular the design, implementation and evaluation of user interface components using sound. It consists of a series of design interventions and explorations, including preliminary empirical investigations, showing features of this space. A novel search method and tool for finding sound files was created. The Sonic Browser utilised the human ability to listen to multiple simultaneous sounds, and facilitated users to switch attention between the sounds while navigating a virtual soundscape. The notion of sound object models, based on physical modelling, or physics-inspired modelling, was developed and explored. The sound object model approach can be used for more responsive and expressive user interfaces based on sound. A method for measuring causal uncertainty in listening tests was improved and modified to also facilitate the design of user interface metaphors based on short narratives provided by participants in listening tests. A novel auditory widget, a pseudo-haptic soft-button for touchbased interaction, was exemplified and explored, which potentially can be used for non-visual user interfaces, in particular for mobile and wearable computing. Finally, an interactive sonification for improving interaction with computers in public places, for both single and multiple users using full body gestures, was exemplified and explored. The research in this thesis covers perspectives on sound and listening, sound design, auditory display, the making of auditory user interface components and outlines a framework for exploring the design of auditory widgets.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Bannon, Liam J.



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