Communication is key, weather it’s how we communicate to others or how we interact with our devices. During my interaction design course, my colleague and I sought after a better way that we, the users, and our devices communicate with one another. This novel idea of having a two-way communication is nothing new, its present in pop culture and Sci-Fi (i.e. Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens) which is also what inspired us to tackle this project. Instead of our devices transmitting a pre-selected sound back to us for their communication but what if we created a simple AI system language that use the message details to relay a sound based on the content of that message. Even though the language would be pre-coded it could almost seem as if the device is sentient due to the sounds it could communicate to us.
Before we created a language system for our devices, we had to discover what a ‘neutral’ sound was and how would we create it. In-order to accomplish our goal we used a few different programs to synthesize sound waves, utilizing simple algorithms to reach what we perceived as a neutral sound. One major obstacle we encountered occurred during user-testing is we learned that individuals background, culture and upbringing greatly affected their perception of what each sound effect meant to them. From this finding we explored a multitude of sounds and scenarios the users could identify different sounds with. The scenarios used different speech to text systems to read the message and would summarize the message into one sound that hopefully would convey the overall meaning of the message so the average user could easily understand. As ambitious as Project Aberrant was it gave us great insight on how we have the potential to better our relationships we have with our technology and our devices; that maybe if we more effectively utilize our devices systems and were open to learning a little we could become a less wasteful society.
ABERRANT (uh-ber-uh nt, ab-er) – Latin Origins.
- Departing from the right, normal, or usual course.
- Deviating from the ordinary, usual, or normal type; exceptional; abnormal.