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Non-speech audio in user interfaces

Non-speech audio can be used in innovative ways to augment conventional output devices such as a visual display. Today, most desktop computers can produce at least telephone-quality audio. Non-speech audio has been used for a long time on the Apple platform to provide the user with audio cues for specific events. This work has been formalized by the human-computer interaction community by introducing the notion of earcons [Bux89][BGB88][Gav93][BG93][RK92][Ram89][BGP93][BCK<6244>>+93][JSBG86][SMG90]. A screen access program (prototype) for Presentation Manager under OS2 demonstrated the effective use of such non-speech cues in providing the user with spatial information -see [F.92] for details. A similar approach is being used at Georgia Tech in developing Mercator[+] [ME92], a screen access program for the X-windows system. The use of non-speech audio to display complex data sets has been investigated by the scientific visualization community, where audio provides an extra dimension (see [SB92][Bro91][Bro92][RK92][Ram89][BLJ86][BGK92] for several related examples).

TV Raman
Thu Mar 9 20:10:41 EST 1995