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School of Informatics and Computing’ Mannheimer patents acoustic interface

August 19, 2010

Steve Mannheimer, M.F.A., a professor of media arts and science at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, was recently awarded a patent for an acoustic interface process and system.

The interface allows users to navigate large amounts of information using audio cues, thereby reducing dependency on visual or alphanumeric prompts traditionally used to organize data. Users arrange information in customizable, tiered categories that are assigned audio cues for ease of navigation down to the specific file sought, which could include audio, video, text or any number of other file types.

All data and corresponding audio cues are collected in a storage device that can be accessed using a handheld device and integrated with a home entertainment, car stereo or other sound systems.

The acoustic interface is designed to appeal to individuals for whom aural memories and recollection are stronger or more preferred than visual or linguistic cues. It could also have utility for the blind and visually-impaired.

Mannheimer began work on the interface nine years ago while working in the new media services division for Thomson Multimedia, Inc., where he collaborated on patentable technologies and applications. Thomson Licensing has been assigned patent rights. Co-inventors listed on the patent include Barry Weber, Kerry Calvert and Jonathan Griffin.

For more information on Steve Mannheimer’s work and background, please visit


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