Judy Edworthy is continuing her investigations into alarms, this time looking at spatial awareness of different alarm sounds in a working environment. To do this she wanted a set up that would be portable to take to participants in their real working environment and could play random sounds from any one of eight speakers placed around the room.
We mimic the sort of beeps and buzzes emitted by typical medical equipment via a simple mono sound file to be played through a modest quality speaker.
We have eight speakers in a flexible arrangement each with a Bluetooth connection to transmit to matching dongles. To route the sounds randomly to one of the eight outputs we have custom built an 8 channel switcher using an Arduino for the control bus and an 8-channel switch chip housed in a compact and robust case.
The hardware is controlled from a bespoke application which runs on a 10″ windows tablet held by the participant, this application also gathers in the participant’s responses via an easy to use touch screen interface. The entire solution packs neatly into a modestly sized travel case and is due to begin the experimental stage this autumn.
If you wish to find out more about this experiment or have an interest in other bespoke solutions please get in touch.