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Glossary » auditory I/O

auditory I/O

sounds used for input and output, which may include speech, musical sounds, naturalistic sounds, and artificial waveforms. Sound as output has the advantage of being accessible to the visually impaired, of being heard even the user needs to be looking somewhere else, and of being understood readily for certain types of sounds (e.g. well-designed speech). Sound as input is useful for people with motor impairments and those who need to use their hands for other tasks (e.g. driving a car), and speech can be a useful input mechanism to enter a menu selection or even free text.

Sound is intrusive, so it can be heard even when it’s not attended to, which can be an advantage and a disadvantage. Sound can be disruptive in many work environments and may not be an effective communication means in a noisy environment.