Guiding Divers with Sound
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Dive computers can be used to instruct the diver during the dive. The alarms in this study consisted of a long, repetitive Alerting sound of High or Low priority followed by a shorter Informative sound representing the functions Ascend, Descend and Change gas. An internet questionnaire was sent to 30 experienced divers, who were divided in three groups. Each group listened to the alarms in a different order and was asked to recognize the priorities and functions. They were also asked to choose the most informative, pleasant and annoying sound from three different versions of each alarm. The subjects’ musical backgrounds did not affect the recognition of the sounds. The High and Low alarms were well recognized. The Ascend and Change gas alarms were quite well recognized, but the Descend alarm was perceived as very similar to the other sounds. After the validation the sound was changed to a more informative one. The A versions of all sounds received the best ratings and were chosen for further development. It may have affected the outcome that all subjects listened to these versions first in the recognition test.