I am calm: Towards a psychoneurological evaluation of ABC ringtones

J.N.A. Brown, J. Goes Oliveira, S. Bakker

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    Abstract

    Anthropology-Based Computing (ABC) suggests that sociocultural,
    neurological, and physiological parameters of normal human
    interaction with the world can be applied to current technology in order to
    improve Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) [1]. To challenge this theory,
    we hypothesized smartphone ringtones that could be targeted to specific
    people in a manner that would inform them without disturbing their work
    or the work of others. In this paper we report the quantitative data from the
    first formal trials of these ‘ABC ringtones’. Beta Wave activity patterns
    were recorded in the brains of 10 participants exposed to 5 different
    ringtones at three different volumes while they were focused on
    performing a typing test in a noisy environment. Our preliminary findings
    seem to show that the ABC ringtones - at a volume too low to be
    consciously heard - triggered a response in the pre-attentive part of the
    brain, and that the embedded information was transferred to the attentive
    part of the brain by an internal mechanism that did not disrupt the work
    being done in the typing task. We propose that these results provide
    preliminary evidence for the ABC model of HCI and its explanation of the
    centering mechanism that is requisite if Peripheral Interaction [2] is to be
    applied in changing Ubiquitous Computing [3, 4, 5, 6] into Calm
    Technology [7].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-69
    JournalInteraction Design and Architecture(s)
    Issue number26
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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