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 Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>