IE2014 - Keynote

    Stephen Barrass
Associate Professor
Media Arts & Production
Faculty of Arts & Design
University of Canberra

Making Things Growl, Purr and Sing!

Ever since Star Wars, we have known that the soundscape of the future would be full of humming light sabers, whistling droids, and droning Tie fighters. Yet here we are 37 years on and all we have is the microwave that goes "beep". In his tutorials on Making Things Talk, Tom Igoe describes how to connect objects to the Internet of Things (IoT). However, although these Smart Things talk to each other, we humans can't hear their chatter. Could it be that when we do reach the stars, light sabers still just go "beep"? This talk presents more expressive sonic interfaces to Smart Things that growl, purr and sing. The talk begins with a brief history of sound design for film, and for products and appliances. Next is an overview of recent developments in sonic branding, auditory interfaces, sonic interaction design and sonic information design. Finally I will describe our open source Mozzi synthesiser for the Arduino which enables more interactive sounds to be embedded into smart Things. The capabilities of Mozzi will be illustrated with experiments on realtime sonic feedback in sports, and some artistic instruments and installations made by the global Mozzi community.

Prezi - Presentation

Stephen Barrass

Stephen Barrass is an Associate Professor of Digital Design and Media Arts at the University of Canberra, where he lectures in sound design and crossmedia storytelling, and supervises postgrads in data sonification, physical computing, and digital arts. Hs Ph.D. on Auditory Information Design from the ANU in 1998 has been an important influence on the theory and practice of data sonification. During a postdoc at the Fraunhoffer Institute in Bonn in 1999-2000 he explored interactive sound design and data sonification in the immersive Virtual Reality Cyberstage which featured an 3D sound system and haptic floor. From 2001-2005 he led research on advanced audio interfaces at the CSIRO ICT Centre in Canberra. In 2009 Stephen was a guest researcher in the Sound Design and Perception research Team at IRCAM in Paris. He was a member of the steering committee of the EU COST project on Sonic Interaction Design from 2008-2011. Stephen was commissioned to produce the Interactive Welcome Space for Gallery of First Australians at the National Museum of Australia, which has been a permanent exhibit since the opening in 2001. His interactive sound art installations have been curated by Experimenta Media Arts for exhibitions in Melbourne, Seoul, Beijin, Singapore, London and Liverpool. He was the sound designer for ZiZi the Affectionate couch which is now in the collection of the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart.