Wood folders in computer file systems often look the

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wood; folders in computer file systems often look the same as paper folders, complete with tabs. One way of overcoming the fear of the new is to make it look like the old. This practice is decried by design purists, but in fact, it has its benefits in easing the transition from the old to the new. It gives comfort and makes learning easier. Existing conceptual models need only be modified rather than replaced. Eventually, new forms emerge that have no relationship to the old, but the skeuomorphic designs probably helped the transition. When it came to deciding what sounds the new silent automobiles should generate, those who wanted differentiation ruled the day, yet everyone also agreed that there had to be some standards. It should be possible to determine that the sound is coming from an automobile, to identify its location, direction, and speed. No sound would be necessary once the car was going fast enough, in part because tire noise would be sufficient. Some standardization would be required, although with a lot of leeway. International standards committees started their procedures. Various countries, unhappy with the normally glacial speed of standards agreements and under pressure from their communities, started drafting legislation. Companies scurried to develop appropriate sounds, hiring experts in psychoacoustics, psychologists, and Hollywood sound designers. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a set of principles along with a detailed list of requirements, including sound levels, spectra, and other criteria. The full document is 248 pages. The document states: 160 The Design of Everyday Things This standard will ensure that blind, visually-impaired, and other pedestrians are able to detect and recognize nearby hybrid and electric vehicles by requiring that hybrid and electric vehicles emit sound that pedestrians will be able to hear in a range of ambient environments and contain acoustic signal content that pedestrians will recognize as being emitted from a vehicle. The proposed standard establishes minimum
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sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles when operating under 30 kilometers per hour (km/h) (18 mph), when the vehicle s starting system is activated but the vehicle is stationary, and when the vehicle is operating in reverse. The agency chose a crossover speed of 30 km/h because this was the speed at which the sound levels of the hybrid and electric vehicles measured by the agency approximated the sound levels produced by similar internal combustion engine vehicles. (Department of Transportation, 2013.) As I write this, sound designers are still experimenting. The automobile companies, lawmakers, and standards committees are still at work. Standards are not expected until 2014 or later, and then it will take considerable time to be deployed to the millions of vehicles across the world.
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