Ambience for Auditory Displays: Embedded Musical Instruments As Peripheral Audio Cues
From alarm signals and data sonification to multimodal interfaces, auditory displays are omnipresent in our everyday life and they become more and more popular. But there are some challenges we have to meet because of the differentness of the auditory sense compared to the visual sense. Usually, audio notification signals are limited to simple warning cues and system feedback that are in most cases intrusive be- cause they differ from the environmental noise. That has the effect that people present in the room could be distracted from their current tasks because they cannot ``close their ears.'' To prevent the disturbing effect of traditional notification signals we developed the novel concept of non-speech audio notification embedded in ambient soundscapes to provide multi-user notification in a more discreet and non-disturbing way. Instead of using well-known non-speech cues like auditory icons and earcons, we decided to compose and record peripheral soundscapes and notification instruments by ourselves towards a more aesthetic approach. In this paper, we give an overview of our location-aware system with two applications (PAAN, AeMN) and sketch a real life scenario in a wine department of a supermarket. We will also present findings from a user study and provide a small collection of notification instruments and soundscapes as audio samples.