Chapter 5: Sonic Interaction Design

by Stefania Serafin, Karmen Franinovic, Thomas Hermann,
Guillaume Lemaitre, Michal Rinott, Davide Rocchesso


This chapter introduces the emerging discipline of sonic interaction design (SID). SID is the study and exploitation of sound as one of the principal channels conveying information, meaning, and aesthetic/emotional qualities in interactive contexts. Sonic interaction design lies at the intersection of interaction design and sound and music computing.

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Download the chapter: TheSonificationHandbook-chapter5 (PDF, 10.9M)

Media Examples

Example S5.1: Flops
The Flops are a series of interactive glasses which were designed to study the use of habitual and explorative sonic gestures.
The interface was used in psychological experiments exploring emotion, sound and gesture.

media file S5.1

download: SHB-S5.1 (mp4, 811k)
source: G. Lemaitre, O. Houix, P. Susini, Y. Visell and K. Franinovic., 2011

Example S5.2: Marteau
A hammer striking a tile floor with different auditory feedbacks.

media file S5.2

download: SHB-S5.2 (mp4, 532k)
source: P. Susini, N. Misdariis, O. Houix, and G. Lemaitre, 2009

Example S5.3: Parameterized Auditory Icons
Desktop interaction that shows how deleting files of different size could be represented by different sounds to convey more information beyond a mere acknowledgment of the deletion.

media file S5.3

download: SHB-S5.3 (mp4, 852k)
source: Programmed and rendered by Stefano Papetti (PhD, Thesis, Univ. of Verona, 2010) using the Sound Design Toolkit.

Example S5.4: Drilling Machine with Auditory Feedback
Video that shows the augmented drilling machine (Großhauser, Hermann 2009) where deviation from an ideal angle (e.g. perpendicular to the surface) is represented by pulsing sounds of different pitch and direction.

media file S5.4

download: SHB-S5.4 (m4v, 5.7M)
source: Tobias Großhauser and Thomas Hermann (2010)

Example S5.5: German Wheel Event-based Sonification
Video from (Hummel & Hermann 2010) that illustrates how Sports Devices can be augmented to convey their configuration by interactive sound.

media file S5.5

download: SHB-S5.5 (mp4, 4M)
source: Jessica Hummel, Thomas Hermann, Christopher Fraunberger and Tony Stockman (2010).

Example S5.6: Auditory Augmentation – (Wetterreim)

Video of Auditory Augmentation (Bovermann, Tünnermann, Hermann 2010) that shows how real interaction sounds such as typing on a keyboard can be augmented by data-driven sound modifications, here displaying different weather conditions as timbral quality.

media file S5.6

download: SHB-S5.6 (mp4, 6.8M)
source: Till Bovermann, Rene Tünnermann, Thomas Hermann (2010). Auditory Augmentation. Int. J. on Ambient Computing and Intelligence (IJACI), 2 (2) , p. 27 – 41