A volume unit (VU) meter or standard volume indicator (SVI) is a device displaying a representation of the signal level in audio equipment. The original design was proposed in the 1940 IRE paper, A New Standard Volume Indicator and Reference Level, written by experts from CBS, NBC, and Bell Telephone Laboratories. The Acoustical Society of America then standardized it in 1942 (ANSI C16.5-1942) for use in telephone installation and radio broadcast stations. Consumer audio equipment often features VU meters, both for utility purposes (e.g. in recording equipment) and for aesthetics (in playback devices).