Brief provided by Paul Kendrick and Rob Young, University of Salford.
This brief deals with audio enrichment for chimpanzees and other apes. Previous studies have investigated the impact of music on chimpanzee behaviour . The results of the study showed no preference either for or against the presence of music, and no preference of music genre. This is perhaps unsurprising as music is a human construct.
What would be interesting would be to provide a system where the animals could control the type of sound that is reproduced, and they could select preferred content. Previous studies have played sounds at fixed (and rather loud) levels. It would be interesting to also give the animals control over the level of sound reproduction.
Design a user interface to give access to a range of content for a chimpanzee.
What sounds should be present in the database?
Investigate methods by which the database be made interactive; i.e. allow individuals to record and enrol their own content into the database.
Design a system that would allow chimpanzees and other apes to create their own sequences of audio – how could they do this and what might be their motivation?
Consider the type of interfaces that could facilitate this system.
What other applications might the idea be appropriate for?
Everyone worked on concepts for chimpanzees - after reading the brief we set a 25 minute pomodoro for brainstorming ideas.
Touchscreen sequencer - or push button.
Train to record their own sounds - block associate with sound (chip the chimp so system knows which chimp is using it) can also then use facial recognition or display face on separate screen.
Take block to recording studio, associates with chimp sound and then play with it. Database of ape recordings can be made public, see what she recorded today. Possible communications across groups of chimps, playing back each others' sounds.
Touchscreen is dynamic good for visual feedback and cheaper / physical system offers more natural interaction, tactile but requires more engineering.
Alternative system - looping sequencer with lights to show working with rfid reader boxes to place tags in boxes, so system plays the sound you like - which could be your own recording.
Could use totem to modify volume, number of loops, speed etc.
Natural sounds can be played similarly by changing orientation of a block behind plexiglass - hands in to turn but block can't be removed. eg. wind in trees, waterfall, frogs etc.
Replace autoloop with a "marble run" system where ape instigates the sequence to start, same idea to change sounds played at intervals, but trigger to start marble (behind acrylic) and wind it back up to top.
Fiona and David present some ideas for chimp enrichment, showcasing a rough model of the enrichment. It's a ball-activated sound sequencer that triggers different sound effects - all chosen by the chimpanzees who place tagged objects in RFID reader boxes. Rotating controls at the side mediate background sounds, such as waterfall, birdsong, nothing.