Sounds of ZiZi

The sonic palette for ZiZi the Affectionate Couch was designed to attract people to sit and stroke her so that she would purr. It was also designed to provide a feeling of an affectionate  response. An analysis of the design has led to a method for designing Affective Sounds for Interactive Commodities.

Barrass, S. (2012) ZiZi the Affectionate Couch and the Interactive Affect Design Diagram, in K. Franinovic & S. Serafin, Sonic Interaction Design: Fresh Perspectives, MIT Press. (April 2012).

Affect Design Diagram of sounds for ZiZi the Affectionate Couch

The palette was limited by the custom-made hardware to sixteen short mono audio files. This limited palette is mixed  through a four channel sound system to produce a dynamic and ever changing stream of sounds in response to interactions sensed by a motion detector inside the couch.

The design process was  a series of iterative prototypes that explored sonic characters such as a cat, a dog, a bird, a dolphin, and an abstract appliance creature that beeped like a microwave. The final palette of sixteen ZiZi sounds contains a mix of whistles, mews and yowls that does not specify a particular animal. Through the design process the sounds became classified into groups around phases of interaction :

1) attract attention. The attention attracting sounds were short (1/2 second) and high pitched.

whimper

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiAttract0_276/00-attract0.mp3″

whistle

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiAttract1/00-attract1.mp3″

kiss-kiss

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiAttract2/00-attract2.mp3″

tweet-tweet

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiAttract3/00-attract3.mp3″

2) upon sitting. The sitting sounds were slightly longer (1 seconds) with sharp atttack to produce a haptic quiver as well.

smooch

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiSit0/01-sit0.mp3″

giggle

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiSit1_377/01-sit1.mp3″

whizzer

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiSit2/01-sit2.mp3″

grunt

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiSit3/01-sit3.mp3″

3) encourage patting. The patting sounds were more sustained (2 seconds) with a more regular pattern of vibration.

happy

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiSroket0/02-stroke0.mp3″

joyjoy

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiStroke1/02-stroke1.mp3″

growl

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiStroke2/02-stroke2.mp3″

whizwhiz

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiStroke3/02-stroke3.mp3″

4) produce haptic purring. The final purring sounds were longer still and more even to activate haptic purring effects from the vibrators.

raspberry

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiPurr0/03-purr0.mp3″

yowl

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiPurr1/03-purr1.mp3″

purr

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiPurr2/03-purr2.mp3″

squeal

http://www.archive.org/download/ZiZiPurr3/03-purr3.mp3″

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