AudioFeeds Alerts Deliver Social Media Updates with Soothing 3D Sounds

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Twitter and Facebook updates? Everywhere I go I hear their chimes and beeps all the live long day. Annoying, but not nearly annoying enough. Enter a technique called AudioFeeds, which will deliver them with something called "3D sonification." Sounds peachy.

Co-developer Stephen Brewster of the University of Glasgow says the technique will deliver tweets and those infamous passive-aggressive Facebook status updates in a non-intrusive manner, but forgive me if I sound a bit dubious of this:

To your left you hear the gentle "plink" of a drop of water. Ahead of you, a crow squawks. And to your right, you hear the subtle lilt of a flute. Something like this 3D soundscape could soon be alerting you, via your headphones, to updates on your social network and news feeds.

The software that provides it, called AudioFeeds, announces Facebook updates such as friend requests with watery sounds like drips, bubbles and splashes. Bird calls are reserved for Twitter, while musical sounds such as a didgeridoo or wind chime alert you to news stories. - New Scientist


It's the Twitter equivalent of one of those Brookstone clock radios that wakes you up with crashing waves and cooing whales, and I see it getting old fast, especially if Brewster takes it to the next level and builds it into a cellphone app (which he says is possible and will totally try to do). [New Scientist]