MAS 963  ·  Designing Sociable Media  ·  Spring 2007

04.12 Sound in space

Last week we read about different approaches to audio interfaces, including audio icons for computer -> human communication and audible interfaces for community awareness. This week we will look at audio in public environments.


Donath, Karahalios and Viegas    Visiphone website and paper
Dobson and Donath    Agoraphone
To read more, click on the small pictures at the bottom of the main page.


  • Read the papers.
  • Answer these questions - sketch your design ideas
    1. The goal of Visiphone was to connect 2 spaces with a persistent audio connection. Design a different interface with the same goal. What physical instantiation would you make for it? Could you accomondate more than 2 spaces? Would you incorporate video - if so, why? If you could detect voices vs. other noise, how would you depict this? How big would your system be? Would there be other means for interacting with it?
    2. The goal of Agoraphone was to create an audio portal in a public space. Design a different interface with the same goal. What difference do you think a very different physical setup would make - e.g. a rock garden vs a large humanoid/loudspeaker figure? Would you incorporate video or some other means as a way for remote users to sense more about the space - if so, what and why? How would you handle down time - when no one has called in? Would you incorpate dynamic visuals of some sort?

Please link your work by Thursday morning.