Digital Da Vinci: Computers in Music is dedicated to polymathic education and interdisciplinary studies in the digital age empowered by computer science. Educators and researchers ought to encourage the new generation of scholars to become as well rounded as a Renaissance man or woman.
Barrass, S. and Barrass, T. (2014) Making Things Purr, Growl and Sing, in Lee, N. (ed) Digital Da Vinci: Computers in Music, Springer, 2014, ISBN 978-1-4939-0535-5.
Smart Things, with sensors, data processing and communications technologies embedded in them, are now pervading our everyday world. However, the disconnected interface introduces a Gulf of Evaluation that potentially reduces the usability of interactions with a Smart Thing. This chapter explores sonic interfaces to Smart Things to close this Gulf. The first section describes an interactive couch that purrs when it is stroked, modeled on human communications with pets. This resulted in the development of a method for designing affective sounds for interactive products. The next section describes an investigation into the aesthetics of sonic feedback in mobile Apps. The results indicated that more recreational users prefer more musical sounds, whilst more competitive users prefer more functional sounding feedback. In the next section we explored the functionality of embedding realtime sonifications as interfaces to Smart Things designed for outdoor activities. The technical challenges of synthesizing sounds on an Arduino microprocessor resulted in the development of the open source Mozzi library for embedded sonification. The final section describes artistic installations and scientific projects created by the Mozzi community.