Auditory signals are often used in human-machine interfaces of electric consumer products to inform the user of the state of operation. The signals are expected to enhance the usability of products, especially for older adults who are not accustomed to using such products. Kurakata et al. [Acoust. Sci. and Tech., 29, 176-184 (2008)] reported experimental results related to temporal patterns of auditory signals for electric home appliances on which a Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS S 0013:2002) was based. However, all participants in their experiment were residents of Japan. Therefore, it remains unclear whether the information that the auditory-signal patterns convey can be understood unambiguously by people in other countries who have different cultural backgrounds and who use products that have different interface designs from those sold on the Japanese market. This paper presents results of an experiment in which American, German, and Korean listeners participated and evaluated auditory signals, employing a similar procedure to that of the study by Kurakata et al. By comparing their judgments to those by Japanese listeners, internationally acceptable temporal patterns of auditory signals are proposed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas