Sound Science Featured Pattern: P1122 October 2017
Abstracts in this Pattern:
Advances in sound research have the potential to change the way everyday household products function. For example, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) have developed a prototype tumble dryer that uses high-frequency sound waves instead of heat to dry laundry. The ultrasonic dryer is three times more energy efficient than are conventional tumble dryers, and the researchers are working with General Electric (Boston, Massachusetts) to prepare the dryer for commercialization.
Industrial production lines can also benefit from sound technologies. For example, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research; Munich, Germany) are developing cognitive systems capable of analyzing noise from industrial equipment. Using a novel data-analysis approach, the systems monitor the sounds equipment makes to identify errors and their causes. Such systems could prove even more relevant as many automated environments begin to see less human supervision. Other product-testing methods that could profit from such sound-analysis techniques include predictive maintenance, constant processes monitoring, and advanced failure analytics.
Experts in sound design are using acoustics to create personalized soundscapes. For example, Sen Sound (Washington, DC) founder Yoko Sen talked to patients and staff at the Sibley Memorial Hospital (Johns Hopkins University; Baltimore, Maryland) in Washington, DC, to inquire about noise disturbances and sound preferences. Sen is "prototyping sound environments that help patients and providers cut through the clamor, potentially improving both patient health and medical care in the process." Soundscape design could also help to improve consumer experiences across services in the hospitality and entertainment industries.
Sound can also see use in cyberattacks. For example, researchers from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) have showed that sound waves can see use to hack into critical sensors in a wide variety of technologies, including Internet of Things and medical devices, smartphones, and vehicles. In one demonstration, the researchers used an inexpensive speaker to add thousands of fictitious steps to a Fitbit (San Francisco, California) activity-tracking device. Using sound to trick device accelerometers "served as a backdoor into the devices," enabling the researchers to gain control over other areas of device systems.
The Development of this Pattern
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology are developing cognitive systems capable of analyzing noise from industrial equipment.
Sen Sound founder Yoko Sen talked to patients and staff at the Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC, to inquire about noise disturbances and sound preferences.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have shown that sound waves can see use to hack into critical sensors in a wide variety of technologies, including Internet of Things and medical devices, smartphones, and vehicles.
Sonic technologies are enabling new advanced products and services and quality-control methods, but sound may threaten cybersecurity.
- SoC111 — The Art and Science of Sound (June 2005)
Experts in acoustics are starting to bring the same innovative spirit that has driven graphics and visual applications to the world of sound. Sonification (the sonic equivalent of visualization) is just the beginning.
- SoC473 — Sensory Product Design (November 2010)
The coming decade is likely to see a much more deliberate approach to creating holistic sensory-product gestalts.
- P0320 — Seeing Sound, Hearing Touch (March 2012)
The use and transformation of sound will open manifold applications for data analysis, interface technologies, and even material science.
- P0533 — Sonic Interfaces (September 2013)
Advances in sound tools, speech interfaces, and state-of-the-art data-analysis systems could enable a new generation of sonic interfaces.
- P0631 — Sonic Boom (May 2014)
Sonic technologies are enabling novel data-analysis methods, security systems, and customized personal environments.
- SoC821 — Sound and Speech in Advanced HMIs (September 2015)
Sound is data, soundscapes are minable data streams, and speech is becoming a multifaceted input.
- P0953 — Sounds as Tools (August 2016)
New technologies and approaches use sound both to convey and to extract information.