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Randell, C., Price, S., Rogers, Y., Harris, E., & Fitzpatrick, G. (2004). The ambient horn: Designing a novel audio-based learning experience. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 8, 177–183. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (5/12/05, 6:03 PM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Randell2004
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Categories: Sound Design
Keywords: Sonification
Creators: Fitzpatrick, Harris, Price, Randell, Rogers
Collection: Personal and Ubiquitous Computing
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The Ambient Horn is a novel handheld device designed to support children learning about habitat distributions and interdependencies in an outdoor woodland environment. The horn was designed to emit non-speech audio sounds representing ecological processes. Both symbolic and arbitrary mappings were used to represent the processes. The sounds are triggered in response to the children’s location in certain parts of the woodland. A main objective was to provoke children into interpreting and reflecting upon the significance of the sounds in the context in which they occur. Our study of the horn being used showed the sounds to be provocative, generating much discussion about what they signified in relation to what the children saw in the woodland. In addition, the children appropriated the horn in creative ways, trying to ‘scoop’ up new sounds as they walked in different parts of the woodland.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
How non-speech audio can enhance learning. Decription of a practical experiment in the sonification of an ambient environment to promote student reflection and thought.
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  
p.179   The first attempt at the experiment had sounds triggered by subject proximity which generally tended to be ignored as part of the ambience: the "design of ambient sounds was ... too ambient". This was dealt with by requiring studetns to pro-actively trigger sounds when prompted to do so by flashing lights (these lights triggered by proximity to the sensors).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.178   When talking of sonification, they provide three types of mapping of data onto sound:

  • arbitrary
  • symbolic
  • direct
  Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Sonification
p.183   As might be expected, symbolic sounds are more easily related to the intended process. Arbitrary sounds are more difficult to interpret but, nevertheless (and according to the conclusion - see my comments elsewhere here), do stimulate discussion and reflection on what might be going on (even if it's not understood what is going on).   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
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