Listen to the Data - ICAP Ocean Tomo to Auction a Patent Portfolio for the Musical Sonification of Data Changes in a Data Stream

Mar 16, 2011, 13:34 ET from ICAP Ocean Tomo

CHICAGO, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ICAP Ocean Tomo announces the auction of a portfolio of the seminal patents disclosing technology enabling the musical sonification (auditory display) of data changes in a data stream. Developed by Soft Sound Holdings, LLC, the patent portfolio and associated financial trading software will be available at the upcoming ICAP Ocean Tomo Spring 2011 Live IP Auction March 31st in New York.


Background: Auditory display technology was named by Harvard Business Review in 2005 as a top ten breakthrough idea. For data perception, two senses are better than one. The human ear is superior to the eye for processing certain kinds of information, especially information that changes over time. Data overload has become prevalent in fields such as financial trading, intensive care medicine, factory process control, air traffic control, security monitoring, and soldier awareness. The addition of an auditory representation of critical data increases response time and reduces operator error.

Key Characteristics & Benefits

This patent discloses the following:

  • Technology that uses non-verbal, music-like sound to convey user-selected data movements and relationships in order to help solve the problem of visual data overload.
  • Changes in monitored data including "which data," "what happened" and "by how much" are conveyed by familiar musical attributes such as instrument (timbre), pitch, decay, and melody alert the user of changes to the displayed information.
  • For example, in the financial data market, a spot crude market may be represented by a bass note.  With the "Uptick / Downtick" feature, a relative upward movement of the market beyond a user-set threshold is indicated by a higher-pitched bass note and a downward move by a lower note. Trading volume some percentage above a trailing average could be represented by longer decay or faster vibrato.
  • In a simulated financial trading environment, auditory display has been proven to increase data perception and response time 15% when compared with visual display alone, according to a Tuck School of Business study.
  • Because the human brain is naturally endowed with the ability to passively learn and comprehend music, Soft Sound Holdings financial trading customers reported becoming facile with the technology without training in a matter of one to two weeks.
  • This lot has been cited by important organizations including General Electric, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Market Potential

This lot should be of interest to entities involved in financial trading, intensive care medicine, factory process control, air traffic control, security monitoring, soldier awareness, and all entities that deal with unmanageable flows of critical real time data and resulting data comprehension and response time errors.

  • According to recent research by Basex, information overload costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $900 billion per year in lowered employee productivity and reduced innovation, an alarming figure given that employees spend at least 50 percent of their workdays managing information.(1)

To learn more about the assets available for sale in this portfolio:

Contact Dean Becker of ICAP Ocean Tomo at

About ICAP Ocean Tomo LLC

ICAP Ocean Tomo is the intellectual property brokerage division of ICAP and the world's premier patent auction firm.

About ICAP

ICAP is the world's premier interdealer broker and provider of post trade services. The Group matches buyers and sellers in the wholesale markets in interest rates, credit, commodities, foreign exchange, emerging markets, equities and equity derivatives through voice and electronic networks. ICAP plc was added to the FTSE 100 Index on 30 June 2006. For more information go to