19 "Hack a Day" writes about Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot
Thanks to the authors of Hack a Day! They posted
about the Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot on their blog:
This setup helps to represent data in a meaningful way to for visually
impaired people. It uses a combination of physical objects to represent
data clusters, and audio feedback when manipulating those objects. In
the video after the break you’ll see that the cubes can orient
themselves to represent data clusters. The table top acts as a graphing
field, with a textured border as a reference for the user. A camera
mounted below the clear surface allows image processing software to
calculate the locations for the cubes. Each cube is motorized and
contains an Arduino and ZigBee module, listening for positioning
information from the computer that is doing the video processing. Once
in position, the user can move the cubes, with modulated noise as a
measure of how near they are to the heart of each data cluster.
The team plans to conduct further study on the usefulness of this
interactive data object. We certainly see potential for hacking as this
uses off-the-shelf components that are both inexpensive, and easy to
find. It certainly reminds us of a
multitouch display with added physical tokens.
Thank you very much for mentioning this work! Just a little correction:
The pitch of the “modulated noise” (a sawtooth synthesizer) is not
mapped to the distance between the cluster prototype and the object, but
to the local data density in the neighborhood of the object.
07 Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot appeared on Infosthetics Blog
The "Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot" (the paper was made freely
on the Information Aesthetics Blog:
How do you visualize complex data for people... who cannot see?
Researchers at the Bielefeld University (Germany) propose a sophisticated
solution [uni-bielefeld.de]: they combined a set of physical objects
that can autonomously move with sonification, or the generation of
data-driven sounds. This non-visual visualization method should allow
visually impaired people to explore multivariate data through the
alternative representation of scatterplots. Based on some past insights
on multi-touch enabled visual display, this approach overcomes the
obvious problems in terms of visualization and interaction.
How does it work? The researchers created a 2D transformation of the
spatially distributed data into the audio-haptic domain. First, a set of
cube objects physically move to locations that correspond to the most
explicit data clusters on a horizontal screen. These constellations can
then be perceived (i.e. felt) by users. By moving a physical object over
a screen, specific sounds are emitted so that the local characteristics
of the data distribution can be distinguished. Or, in other words, the
frequency of a continuously emitted sonic stream corresponds to the
local density of the data. When an object is released, a local data
sonogram is created, yielding an audible spherical sweep through the
data space at the location of the object. Still sounds too complex? Then
watch a demonstration video below.
Thank you very much, Andrew [ http://infosthetics.com/ ]
06 Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot Paper is freely available
The paper "Tangible
Active Objects and Interactive Sonification as a Scatter Plot
Alternative for the Visually Impaired", presented at ICAD2010
in Washington D.C., is now freely available. You can download it
under the following link:
Feel free to contact me through my recently updated website
(more information and in the Bielefeld University's web design).