ACTION AUDIO GROUP 1, pressure cooker

February 19, 2010


This pressure cooker was designed to broaden the view in this project. By going through the design process in one day we can see where there are difficulties.

The aim of this project is to design a sound system that provides subtle but relevant information in the home environment.
This lead to the question: what things within the home environment are relevant and useful to perceive during your daily task? For a lot of these tasks visuals are good enough and would not be improved by sound applications.

For research we have read 5 papers:
Eggen – 2008 – Making Sense ofWhat Is Going on ʻAroundʼ
Eggen – pervasive’08 – Soundscapes at Workspace Zero
Gaver – Ecological psychology’93 – What in the World Do We Hear
Gaver – Human Computer Interaction ’89 – The SonicFinder, An Interface That Uses Auditory Icons
Weiser – 1996 – the coming age of calm technology

From these papers we deduced a couple important requirements for sound design:
– Sound can easily become annoying when it is not meaningful for the listener.
– Information doesnʼt doesn’t have to be valuable to all people in an environment at all times, as long as there is a clear purpose and benefit in having this system. And it should be subtle.
– As people do not have ear lids, auditory displays should be designed in such a way that the soundscapes they display can easily fade into the background of everyday life.
– A system needs to be able to be ignored and at least not to be considered disturbing by the people who are not paying attention to the systems informative messaging.
– Environmental changes can provide us with information. We can divide these changes in those who are disturbing our activities and those who stimulate our workflow.
For the pressure cooker we have decided on the following requirements:
– It should be a working prototype (wizard of oz).
– The sound should be a subtle kind of peripheral noise.
– The concept should have a clear purpose.


Some brainstorms led to the following needs:
A sound system notifying the user in each room how hot it is and what the moisture in the
air is.
A sound system that alerts you on the time you have left to be on time for your public
A sound system that alerts you if you have important meetings.
A sound system that alerts you on your energy consumption.

The last idea was chosen to work out for the day.
The whole world is talking about global warming and environmental issues. But most of the propaganda’s begin with the catch phrase: A better environment starts with yourself.
With this system the people will be a lot more aware of how much energy they waste during the daily tasks.


The system consists of two parts; the fuse box and a processing system/computer.
Fuse Box
In the fuse box there is already a device that senses the energy consumption in electronic and gass. There are already appliances that capture this data and sends them wirelessly to a receiver. [1] We intend to use this technology and send this to a processing system that processes the data in sound feedback.
Processing System
The main function of the system is to let you know (in a subtle way) if you are above or below an average value.
If you are interested in a better environment, the logical thing is that you should be able to improve your own energy consumption.

Sound Design
Within the system there are 3 levels, when the current value is at the desired level it is
“good” when you are a bit above the desired level and when you are using way too much
devices or gas.

.                        Good (usual).                Little more.                   Way more

Electricity                                                Buzz (soft)                   Buzz (tesla coil)

Water                 Ambient water drops     Rainy                          Waterfall -ish

.                          Water dripping 1           Water                         Rain on porch

Gas                     Gas floating away                                            Gasburner

movie of the final concept of our pressure cooker will follow



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