About

Sonify is focused on the potential of data sonification and emerging technologies for social impact. The company is a recipient of the Knight Foundation’s “Data For Civic Engagement” award and is currently engaged in a year-long initiative that empowers newsrooms to create data-driven sonifications to enable storytelling that is accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. The mission of the company is to research and test methods to better communicate data with sound, with the potential for wider applications in Smart Cities. 

Background

Sonify is co-founded by Hugh McGrory and Debra McGrory. In their previous company (Datavized) Hugh and Debra specialised in free and open source data-driven software and 3D experiences; creating the TwoTone data sonification tool built with support from Google News Initiative, Geometric (WebXR geospatial immersive visualization) used in projects for the United Nations, and Airfield (spatial audio) built with a Journalism360 award from the Online News Association. 

TwoTone

TwoTone lets you turn data into sound and music. It uses the process of sonification to let you hear data. It’s free and open-source and runs 100% on the web, so you don’t need to download anything. TwoTone works on desktops, tablets and phones. It’s designed to be fast, fun and easy to use. The Financial Times, writing about sonification and TwoTone in March 2019, concluded that “Some might be inclined to dismiss sonification as a novelty, but a new generation of screenless devices with voice interfaces, such as Amazon’s Alexa, marks the end of silent interaction with computers. It is perhaps naive to think that data will continue to just be seen and not heard.” Get started with web application here and read more about it here.

Sonification

Data visualization communicates information through visual representation in the form of charts, graphs or maps. Data sonification communicates information through audio representation using music, sound or speech. Turning data into sound has advantages. Just like in the cinema, sound adds another layer to understanding. Sound does not require you to look at a screen. You could be anywhere in a room and hear the differences in the output. It can be used by itself or as a complement to visual systems. The representation of the data is as “true” as a visual rendering and any anomalies can be heard, identified and acted upon. 

Contact

If you would like to discuss a collaboration, for example a sonification project or workshop | email: hugh@sonify.io.