ProjectLJUDIT

Key Areas
Competence Areas at RISE ICT
LJUDIT

In the project LJUDIT we want to study how sound and sound based interaction design can be used in new ways and within areas where it is seldom used. Sound design and multimodal solutions are getting increasingly important within industrial applications. Existing IT solutions such as the control and surveillance of industrial processes are mainly visual tasks.  A constantly increasing and more complex information flow in these kinds of environments contribute to the risk that users will become more distracted and confused in critical situations. Also in service applications and product design the use of sound design is often limited or not used to its fully potential.

The amount of visual information we can see and interpret is limited. By also using sound, one can design multimodal solutions that efficiently utilise human capabilities and thus contribute to a better working environment. Sound can be used to express many types of information, ranging from direction and distance to emotions. Some of these properties can be very useful in stationary or mobile applications, where users neither can nor want to look at a display.

The project will run in close cooperation with regional companies and aims to strengthen regional prioritised areas such as process industry and service applications. One goal is to enable participating companies to try a new area, another to identify SME’s in the region, which can productify the developed concepts and take them to a market.
In the project we work in different steps. The first step usually includes an inspirational talk, next step could be a workshop and if there is a mutual interest we can continue with developing a concept or prototype.

Some examples of developed concepts in the LJUDIT project:

• A new concept for alarm sounds in control rooms. The test site and collaboration partner has been Smurfit Kappa Kraftliner, Piteå.

• A mobile application for position based marketing and ”just-in-time-offers”. The test site and collaboration partner has been More Media, Piteå.

• The use of sound design for enhanced experience of a spinning class. The test site and collaboration partner has been Korpen, Piteå

• Improved sound design for a medical device with limited hardware. The test case comes from Abelko Innovation, Luleå, which also has been our collaboration partner.

• Improved interaction with the use of sound feedback. The test case comes from KriMag Technology, Umeå

 

We are constantly looking for new challenges and project ideas. Please contact us for a free inspirational talk.

The LJUDIT project started in June 2011 and runs for 3 years. The project is financed by EU:s Structural Funds, the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, the Municipal of Piteå, the Municipal of Skellefteå and RISE.

Publications
Number of items: 5.

Frimalm, Ronja and Fagerlönn, Johan and Lindberg, Stefan and Sirkka, Anna (2014) How Many Auditory Icons, in a Control Room Environment, Can You Learn? Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD2014) .

Sirkka, Anna and Fagerlönn, Johan and Lindberg, Stefan and Delsing, Katarina (2014) The Design of an Auditory Alarm Concept for a Paper Mill Control Room. Advances in Ergonomics In Design, Usability & Special Populations: Part III, Volym 18 of Advances in Human Factors and Ergonomics 2014 .

Sirkka, Anna and Fagerlönn, Johan and Lindberg, Stefan and Delsing, Katarina (2014) Designing auditory alarms for an industrial control room. Proceedings of the 46th Annual Nordic Ergonomics Society Conference .

Sirkka, Anna and Fagerlönn, Johan and Lindberg, Stefan and Frimalm, Ronja (2014) An Auditory Display to Convey Urgency Information in Industrial Control Rooms. Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics, 11th International Conference, EPCE 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Proceedings .

Kursu, Sami (2013) Adaptiv nivåreglering: Dynamisk expansion av ljudsignaler i en reell arbetsmiljö. Bachelors thesis, Högskolan i Gävle.

This list was generated on Mon Nov 20 09:30:22 2017 CET.
News
In media
Sound Design for Operator Interfaces

The field of sound design and multimodal solutions are getting increasingly important within industrial applications. Existing IT solutions such as the control and surveillance of industrial processes are by tradition mainly visual tasks. A constantly increasing and more complex information flow in these kinds of environments contribute to the risk that users will become more distracted and confused in critical situations.
By also using sound, one can design multimodal solutions that efficiently utilize human capabilities and thus contribute to a better working environment. Sound can be used to express many types of information, ranging from direction and distance to emotions and priority.

In this project we have studied alarm sounds in control room environments. With experience from areas such as game design, media production, and vehicle interface development we have been able take a whole new approach to methods within alarm sound design.
Poor alarm management and poorly designed alarm sounds are common problems in control rooms within the process industry. The purpose of an alarm is to alert the operators to deviations from normal conditions, and the goal is to prevent physical and economic loss through operators acting on conditions causing the alarms.

Key factors in operator effectiveness are the speed and accuracy with which the operator can identify the alarms. Consequently, this project aimed to develop a concept for alarm sounds which both informed about and guided operators to the production section involved. Sounds that conveyed urgency information and were accepted, perhaps even liked, by the operators.

A prerequisite for us to be able to investigate and develop our design ideas was a test bed. The local paper mill, Smurfit Kappa Kraftliner was well suited for our needs and through a highly user-driven process we developed an alarm sound concept consisting of in total seven production sections.

Each alarm sound consisted of two parts, one part conveying urgency information, and the other part conveying information that could be associated with the alarming section. In collaboration with the operators a variety of associative sounds were identified that could represent incidents in the process. 

An iconic water drop sound is representing an alarm in the washing unit where the used cooking liquors are separated from the cellulose fibers.

A breaking twig sound raises awareness of an alarm situation in the mechanical pulping process. For instance, there could be something stuck in the wood chipping section.

Chemical pulp production is the cooking of the wood raw material with chemicals. The sound of a steam kettle boiling informs the operators of an issue in this section. An alarm can for example be triggered due to tolerance limits deviations.

During the development process, the concept has been continuously evaluated. The evaluations were mainly conducted through questionnaires and focus groups. Results indicate increased operator effectiveness and a clearly improved working environment.

Sound design for medical devices

An area that we have identified as having a great potential for sound design improvements is medical devices within healthcare.  Today many of the devices have poor sound capabilities. A company working within this area in our region is Abelko Innovation. They were contacted and they were positive to participate and letting us use one of their products as test case. Together with Abelko we carried out a workshop in order to identify interesting areas for improvement.

The product that became our test case was a type of blood scale collection monitor and mixer. It is used at blood donations and its purpose is to make sure the blood does not clot during the donation. The sounds from the product are there to alert and help the personnel but will also be heard by the person donating blood.

One restriction that was recognized early was the limited possibilities to generate sound. The hardware only allowed for playing monophonic sine wave sounds and the loudspeaker size was very small.

The product had an original set of alarm sounds that was neither informative nor served its purpose to help the personnel. After experimenting and conducting tests we had an idea of two new sound concepts that were developed and tested.

The first concept idea was to develop an individual id-sound for each product in a multi-product set up since several products are often used in the same room and at the same time. The id-sound makes it easy for the user to identify the product that needs attention.

The second concept was to develop different association sounds for different events causing alarm. The original sound design had only one type of alarm for all types of events.  We wanted to create alarm sounds, which associated to the event causing the alarm.
For example a ticking clock can describe “a timeout event”.

We also tested to use larger speakers and the result was improved. As important is however, to make a proper installation of the speaker and to be aware of the direction of the speaker. A small speaker, which is installed in an optimal way, can be as efficient as a larger speaker were less care is taken to the installation.

A conclusion from this project is that even with this kind of hardware restrictions it is possible to improve the sound design quality and deliver sound that carries information and meaning. With more sophisticated sound playing equipment, where it is possible to play rendered audio files, the possibilities for audio communication can be realty improved. The company who participated in the study has also been inspired and aware of the possibilities of proper sound design.

All sounds on this page are free to download and use. The only restriction is that you send a note about it to us.

Sound design for indoor cycling

Most indoor cycling classes are coached with music. Often, the music chosen by the instructor is dance or rock music set to a dance beat. In this project we aimed at developing a new concept for indoor cycling, in which the music was replaced by a narrative sound design. The design consisted of rhythms and sound effects that aimed at recreating the sense of cycling in different kinds of environments. For instance, in one part of the class, the sound design built a soundscape where the participants could imagine they were cycling in the jungle being hunted by tigers.

Instruktör Camilla Lundberg

The concept was tested during an indoor cycling class at Korpen Piteå. After the class the participants were given a questionnaire to provide feedback about the concept. The results of the questionnaire showed that the participants generally liked the concept. Additionally, several participants commented on the concept’s great potential for further development.

If you’re an instructor and interested in trying the concept at your gym, please contact us.

Real-time audio feedback

There is a natural relation between kinetic events and sound events. If there is no movement, there is nothing to hear.  Human motions, such as running, jumping, dancing etc. all initiate audible sound waves. In sport, sound plays an important role and especially in elite sports athletes rely on sport specific sounds to adjust their motions and/or techniques. Information represented by sounds, can be used in a number of applications in sports and rehabilitation for monitoring, observing, and detecting changes in movements.

The interfaces of motion analysis tools are generally based on visual feedback. However, it is difficult to focus on a screen while performing explosive movements, such as jumping, sprinting, and weightlifting. In this project we’ve developed a sound based user interaction concept for the exercise Squat Jumps. The project aimed to improve the user interaction by using real-time audio feedback.

The type of feedback used in this concept can be very useful for eHealth applications, such as eRehabilitation. Auditory real-time information could also be most effective as feedback during remote control of vehicles and machinery.

The concept was tested by the use of a real-time motion analysis tool developed by KriMag Technology. Below is a short video demonstrating the concept. All sounds heard in the film are free to use. If you’re interested in getting hold of the sounds, please contact us.