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This paper examines the use of musical patterns to convey information, specifically in the context of mobile devices. Existing mechanisms (such as the popularity of the Morse code SMS alert) suggest that the use of musical patterns on mobile devices can be a very efficient and powerful method of data delivery. Unique musical patterns based on templates known as Contour Icons are used to represent specific data variables, with the output rendering of these patterns being referred to as a Sonification of that data. Contour Icon patterns mimic basic shapes and structures, thus providing listeners with a means of categorising them in a high level manner. Potential Sonification applications involving mobile devices are already in testing, with the aim of delivering data to mobile users in a fast, efficient and hands-free manner. It is the goal of this research to provide greater functionality on mobile devices using Sonification.
Cullen, C. & Coyle, E. (2005) Information Delivery on Mobile Devices Using Contour Icon Sonification. ISSC: Irish Signals and Systems Conference. Dublin City University, 1- 2 September.