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This chapter focuses on the nonspeech audio used to display information. Auditory interfaces are bidirectional, communicative connections between two systems-typically a human user and a technical product. The side toward the machine involves machine listening, speech recognition, and dialog systems. The side toward the human uses auditory displays. These can use speech or primarily nonspeech audio to convey information. Auditory displays are not new and have been used as alarms, for communication, and as feedback tools for many decades. As technology has improved, it has become easier to create auditory displays. Thus, the use of this technology to present information to users has become commonplace, with applications ranging from computers to crosswalk signals. This same improvement in technology has coincidentally increased the need for auditory displays. Some of the needs that can be met through auditory displays include presenting information to visually impaired people, providing an additional information channel for people whose eyes are busy attending to a different task, alerting people to error or emergency states of a system, and providing information via devices with small screens such as cell phones that have a limited ability to display visual information. Furthermore, the auditory system is well suited to detect and interpret multiple sources and types of information. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
author list (cited authors)
Peres, S. C., Best, V., Brock, D., Shinn-Cunningham, B., Frauenberger, C., Hermann, T., ... Stockman, T.