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Effectiveness of User Notification in Ambient Soundscapes

Ralf Jung; Andreas Butz
In: Proceedings of the workshop on Auditory Displays for Mobile Context-Aware Systems. Workshop on Auditory Displays for Mobile Context-Aware Systems, located at Pervasive 2005, May 8-13, Munich, Germany, Pages 47-56, Springer, 2005.


In this paper we present an ambient audio notification system for multi-user environments. It provides unobtrusive notification by embedding audio cues in an ambient soundscape consisting of specially arranged pieces of music. The audio cues are distinct either in their instrumentation or in their rhythmic pattern and complement a musical core of the soundscape. To test the effectiveness of our system we conducted a study with 25 subjects and compared notification effectiveness and reaction speed between our approach and salient notification sounds which were not embedded into the soundscape. We present the key findings and some implications following from the evaluation of our study.