Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A “slurp” says more than ten beeps

18.12.2003


Natural warning sounds may be the future in airplanes and perhaps in cars as well. A “slurp” when fuel is low works better than a monotonous beeping sound. In a dissertation at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, Pernilla Ulfvengren has studied how warning sounds function, how we associate sounds, and how new sounds can be designed.



In the cockpit of an airplane there are a large number of warning units. If something happens to the plane, some twenty alarms may go off simultaneously, with lights blinking and a number of different beeping sounds signaling at high volume levels. These alarms are necessary, of course, but they can also confuse the pilot when there are too many of them to keep straight and remember what each one means. This problem has been known for some time.

With this in mind, Pernilla Ulfvengren embarked upon her doctoral studies. Designing alarm systems is in the field of cognitive engineering, technological research adapted to how the brain apprehends different types of information. The design of computer interfaces is another area in which cognitive engineering plays a major role.


Pernilla Ulfvengren soon found that warning sounds were a largely undeveloped field of research compared with visual signals, for instance. Alarm sounds have remained largely the same for many years. They involve tone generators that create simple sound pulses of different frequency. High volume and high frequency have been the standard model. This works fine when there are one or two possible alarms, but problems arise when there is an incoherent cacophony of different beeps.

The researcher started to study how we associate certain sounds that are more natural, in the sense that we have encountered them before, and if it is easier to remember them when they are given certain meanings. She found that it is easier to remember what an alarms sound means if we can associate it with something we recognize, and that it was also much easier for people to distinguish between several types of sounds. Roughly in the same way that it’s easier to distinguish between many different faces than between many pictures of nondescript patterns.

The aim of the dissertation is quite simply to describe a method for industry to go about designing sounds to describe different functions.

Jacob Seth-Fransson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kth.se/eng

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>