A car's reverse-parking aid maps distance to beeping frequency. This is a trivial application of sonification - the auditory display of information. Scientific examples range from the Geiger counter to earthquakes or EEG brain data. These phenomena often produce large and periodic data sets for which our hearing is specialized. In multimodal contexts, e.g., when our eyes are occupied monitoring a patient, our ears are free to receive additional feedback. Sonification is an interdisciplinary field linking sound synthesis to data mining and psycho-acoustics.

Worldwide, amounts of data on everything are exploding, and we search for new ways of data exploration. Automatic data mining is limited to known structures - true exploration is based on us humans. We have different senses to perceive the world, but in modern society the visual modality prevails and is thus overloaded in many occupations. Hearing exceeds vision in spectral range and temporal resolution. Sonification research adds new methods for data exploration and perspectives in multimodal contexts.