Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ambient Annunciators

Jim Hood (of Pillar Technology) and I just installed our first ever "ambient annunciator" to announce our build's breakage. Well, technically our first two. What it does is watch for a build to fail in Jenkins, then start playing a series of randomly-selected choices from our assortment of spooky public domain sound files. Some are musical interludes, some are animal sounds, some are just weird.

Annunciator #2 video, woofer, and R/L speakers.

Our intention is that these sounds, playing through a decent set of speakers, will create an atmosphere of something being "not quite right." With both systems playing test noises, it was a tad eerie. You really felt that there was something different about the space.

It is a bit more subtle than flashing lights, and we're hoping this will be an advantage. Developers will know the build is broken, and will have incentive to get the space back to normal (it is a little annoying) but will still be able to have conversations and won't get headaches associated with flashing lights.