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Meaningful beep

A language of cheap beeps
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I don’t know whether it’s a function of ageing or just intolerance of bad design, but I notice my environment is increasingly infested with things that go beep, sometimes often but often not often at all. Firstly, I’m not really interested in keeping up with which things have which beeps. Secondly, a high frequency square wave is characteristically not easy to pinpoint directionally - the high harmonic content bounces off the surroundings so if something beeps it can easily sound like it is coming from somewhere irrelevant. Thirdly, there are devices that have never beeped, and then they suddenly beep — how am I supposed to recognise what it is that is making that untraceable but interminable sound, and more importantly, what is it telling me? Which brings me to fourthly, a beep has almost no meaning. It simply indicates a desire to communicate, but not the communication itself.

Therefore, my message to devices the world over is: say what the bloody hell you mean! Don’t just beep, actually say so. Tell me what the problem is.

In this day and age, it isn’t difficult to implement a speech synthesiser to tell me in English what exactly the situation is. However, in any day and age, people will always want to make a cheaper nastier version of what someone has nicely made and charges a lot for. Anticipating this, and anticipating a lifetime of stone age square waves, what about a type of mark-space ratio based meaningful language-like 'words' that can be accepted in societies the world over, so that we can tell what the problem is, and which anonymous slab of technology is having the problem (and where the bloody hell it is).

Ian Tindale, Jan 19 2015

Human sounds for appliances Human_20sounds_20for_20appliances
A meaningful variant. [tatterdemalion, Jan 19 2015]

This is an old Idea http://www.pchell.c...are/beepcodes.shtml
Well, the Idea was implemented in a different context than described here, but it is still an old Idea. [Vernon, Jan 20 2015]

Change beep to meep. That is the answer. http://youtu.be/QKnHYcSG9Po
[Ling, Jan 21 2015]

[link]






       Yes, please let technology march on, instead of just beeping at us. Like the modern hearing aids, that instead of just beeping at you when the batteries are low, say " battery " in your ear, in your choice of sex and accent.
normzone, Jan 19 2015
  

       Or take the morse code route, like Nokia's old SMS ringtone.
mitxela, Jan 19 2015
  

       Perhaps all of our devices are just swearing at us and being censored by the universe.   

       It would be very easy to retain the "beep" sound, yet embed a low rate code via PCM effectively as a QR code, that would identify both the device and the issue via a smartphone app, i.e. "Ian, your pacemaker battery has less than three minutes remaining before auto-shutdown …"
8th of 7, Jan 19 2015
  

       One variation linked. Also there has been some mention of microwave ringtones. Everything should have downloadable ringtones.
tatterdemalion, Jan 19 2015
  

       All such status information hould be said in a sultry French accent, to the tune of "Je t'aime"
hippo, Jan 20 2015
  

       // microwave ringtones //   

       Great for long-range alerts, but the magnetron is bulky and heavy. Audio frequencies are easier to detect.
8th of 7, Jan 20 2015
  

       I wear an insulin pump that makes several different kinds of beeps, so one knows what is going on. I must admit that when I hear an *exterior* beep, I still look at my pump. So even though [Vernon] says this is baked, I want to bun this. +
xandram, Jan 20 2015
  

       Eventually, you'll get to a beep-language like R2D2, so you may as well get Ben Burtt to help design it from the get-go.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 20 2015
  

       ^ sheer genius.
8th of 7, Jan 20 2015
  

       My dishwasher says, at appropriate times, "The dishes are washed and dried." I find this quite remarkable, considering he's Polish.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2015
  

       My dishwasher makes a whining noise and drips water from the elbows.
AusCan531, Jan 20 2015
  

       Paper plates, works for me.
not_morrison_rm, Jan 21 2015
  

       [not_mrm] That's an unusual name - I'm glad it hasn't stopped him getting employment though.
hippo, Jan 21 2015
  

       Do they always use square waves ? .. "did not know that.
VJW, Jan 22 2015
  
      
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