Friday, January 6, 2017

The Art And Science of Designing Noise Alarms

Atlas Obscura: An Alarm Designer on How to Annoy People in the Most Effective Ways

There's an art and science to making one sound seem more urgent than another.

When the cockpit recorder transcript from Air France Flight 447 was leaked to the public in 2011, many startling details emerged. The plane, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board, had been under the control of pilots who were communicating poorly and not realizing one another’s mistakes. The plane’s speed slowed to dangerous levels, activating the stall alarm—the one, in the words of Popular Mechanics, “designed to be impossible to ignore.” It blared the word “Stall!” 75 times.

Everyone present ignored it. Within four minutes, the plane had hit the water.

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CSN Editor: Like building a better mouse trap .... there is a need to build a better alarm.

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