The Sounding Object | IST-2000-25287

In the Disappearing Computer scenario, non-speech sounds will be important to exchange information among artefacts and humans. This project aims at developing versatile and efficient sound models that are based on the physics of sound-generating phenomena, thus being easily integrated within artefacts and appliances that interact physically with humans. The parameters of the sound models are controlled by means of control models which are developed according to the dynamics of human gestures and expressions. The design of sound and control models is driven by the results of an experimental psychology research agenda, which is aimed at establishing a consistent phenomenology and psycho-
physics of sound events. Psychological and modelling research will be focused on a restricted class of phenomena that are relevant in everyday human-object interaction.

The SOB project aims at developing sound models that are responsive to physical interactions and are easily matched to physical objects. The sound models, being specified by physical descriptions and actions, will be ready to be integrated into artefacts that interact with each other and that are accessed by direct manipulation. The results of research are demonstrated by means of a dynamic sound library and an application that will allow users to interact with objects using only gestures and auditory display.

The project is innovative in several ways:

  • It takes a physics-based approach to sound modelling, as opposed to signal based approaches that are more conventional in sonification, auditory display and multimedia;

  • It brings together researchers from diverse fields, such as experimental psychology, signal processing, human-computer interaction and acoustics;

  • It aims at developing models and algorithms that have a solid physical basis while being accessible in a human-oriented fashion;

  • It aims at developing a phenomenology and a psychophysics of sound events that are relevant for interaction with and among artefacts;

  • A continuous evaluation process of sound and control models is run throughout the project using the methods of experimental psychology.

List of partners and roles:

  • University of Verona (Coordinator)
    Dipartimento Scientifico e Tecnologico (Local Manager: Davide Rocchesso) Models of Sounding Objects: development of physically-based sound models, mapping of perceptual parameters onto physical model parameters, approximation methods for efficient model implementation, algorithms for real-time applications.

  • University of Udine (Principal Contractor)
    Dipartimento di Scienze Filosofiche e Storico-Sociali (Local Manager: Giovanni Bruno Vicario) Psychophysical assessment for sounding objects: psychological tests, identification of relevant physical attributes, construction of psychophysical scales, construction of sets of physical phenomena and physics-based sound information spaces, perceptual validation of object models.

  • University of Limerick (Principal Contractor)
    Interaction Design Center (Local Manager: Mikael Fernstr�m) Interface design and implementation of sounding objects. Usability tests. Construction of the Dynamic Sound Library. Interface design and implementation of the demonstrative applications.

  • Royal Institute of Technology
    Kungl Tekniska Hoegskolan - KTH -Stockholm (Principal Contractor) Department of Speech, Music and Hearing (Local Manager: Roberto Bresin) Control of sounding objects. Identification and estimation of parameters for controlling the expressive content of human gestures. Strategies for control of low-level physical actions. Models of the dynamics of human gestures and mapping strategies for expressive intentions. Algorithms for parametric control.




University of Verona,
Dipartimento di Informatica
Verona, Italy
Davide Rocchesso

University of Udine,
Dipartimento di Scienze Filosofiche e Storico-Sociali
Udine, Italy

University of Limerick,
Interaction Design Center
Limerick, Ireland

Kungl Tekniska Hoegskolan
Royal Institute of Technology,
Department of Speech, Music and Hearing

Stockholm, Sweden

Additional Information:
Project start: 1 January 2001
Duration: 2 years

The Disappearing Computer Initiative © 2002