Sound is an integral part of every user experience but a neglected medium in design disciplines. Design of an artifact’s sonic qualities is often limited to the shaping of functional, representational, and signaling roles of sound. The interdisciplinary field of sonic interaction design (SID) challenges these prevalent approaches by considering sound as an active medium that can enable novel sensory and social experiences through interactive technologies.
Sound can be deployed to produce discomfort, express a threat, or create an ambiance of fear or dread—to produce a bad vibe. Sonic weapons of this sort include the "psychoacoustic correction" aimed at Panama strongman Manuel Noriega by the U.S. Army and at the Branch Davidians in Waco by the FBI, sonic booms (or "sound bombs") over the Gaza Strip, and high-frequency rat repellents used against teenagers in malls. At the same time, artists and musicians generate intense frequencies in the search for new aesthetic experiences and new ways of mobilizing bodies in rhythm.