MARingBA: Music-Adaptive Ringtones for Blended Audio Notification Delivery

Published in ACM CHI, 2024

Alexander Wang, Yi Fei Cheng, David Lindlbauer. (PDF)

Abstract
Audio notifications provide users with an efficient way to access information beyond their current focus of attention. Current notification delivery methods, like phone ringtones, are primarily optimized for high noticeability, enhancing situational awareness in some scenarios but causing disruption and annoyance in others. In this work, we build on the observation that music listening is now a commonplace practice and present MARingBA, a novel approach that blends ringtones into background music to modulate their noticeability. We contribute a design space exploration of music-adaptive manipulation parameters, including beat matching, key matching, and timbre modifications, to tailor ringtones to different songs. Through two studies, we demonstrate that MARingBA supports content creators in authoring audio notifications that fit low, medium, and high levels of urgency and noticeability. Additionally, end users express a preference for music-adaptive audio notifications over conventional delivery methods, such as volume fading.

Listen to examples here: https://augmented-perception.org/publications/2024-maringba.html