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Sonance Research - Dynamic Sound Technologies

Mission Statement:
Sonance Research Inc (SRI) was formed in May, 1999 to address a need in all computing environments: the real-time delivery of dynamic, interactive audio. This real-time sonification will bring a new, content-rich dimension to information flow that can improve the speed and quality of human responses in complex situations that require decisions. (Sonification is the audio equivalent of data visualization: the transformation of data to sound for purposes of observation.) Instead of mere warning beeps and whistles, properly programmed sonification can provide instantly distilled information about how complex data sets are changing in real time.

My Role:
This venture did not go far. In fact, it pretty much feel flat. I co-wrote the business plan, created application mockups and demos, and dealt with intellectual property components. The idea still has potential... especially when you consider dynamic sound on pdas, cell phones, and other hand/pocket devices. Someone pick just a small part of this up... and have fun.

iListen Product Description:
iListen will be the desktop sound solution for Sonance Research, Inc. It will act as the multi-track ringmaster for your computer's sound. Currently, PCs can only output one sound stream at a time, much like a circus ringmaster introducing one act at a time. iListen will coordinate multiple sound streams depending on user preferences and an on-board artificial intelligence (AI), and output the combined sound mix simultaneously and in real-time.

This desktop application will communicate seamlessly with the operating system and other programs such as web browsers, multimedia creation tools, etc. We typically think of sound as beeps and simple alarms, music tracks, and sound effects. Other types of sound can be related to data and the sounding of data called "sonification." (Sonification is the audio equivalent of data visualization: the transformation of data to sound for purposes of observation.) By funneling all sound sources into iListen, this software becomes a virtual mixing board. With the sound patched into this virtual mixing board, one can begin to create a sound environment: a mix. This is the topmost level of control. By adjusting basic parameters such as priority of sounds and cues, iListen will coordinate and distribute the appropriate listening levels. The AI will keep track of the mix. It will be on a constant vigil to manage the sound sources, input data, and decide how data is sonified, all while keeping the user's preferences in check.

Sound creation is a craft and not all people are sound experts. We're making the process of working with sound accessible and easy, providing multiple ways of interacting with and controlling sound creation. There are several ways to access sound on your desktop with iListen.

iListen Mockups, July 1999

iListen desktop application GUI

iListen mapping GUI - concept stage

Street Sound demo (dynamic sound while navigating)

3D sound/5.1 GUI

Prototype system attributes

Other system strands and concepts




• RiverWeb
• Machinechild
• Ring Disc
• Animation
• Web Applications
• Web Spaces
• Extraneous Design

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    http://www.mit.edu/~juhan    Copyright 2004 © Juhan P. Sonin. All rights reserved.