M. Bernhard, K. Grosse, M. Wimmer:
"Bi-modal Task Faciliation in a Virtual Traffic Scenario through Spatialized Sound Rendering";
ACM Transactions On Applied Perception,
Audio rendering is generally used to increase the realism of Virtual Environments (VE). In addition, audio rendering may also improve the performance in specifi c tasks carried out in interactive applications such as games or simulators.
In this paper we investigate the e ffect of the quality of sound rendering on task performance in a task which is inherently vision dominated. The task is a virtual traffic gap crossing scenario with two elements: fi rst, to discriminate crossable and uncrossable gaps in oncoming traffic, and second, to find the right timing to start crossing the street without an accident.
A study was carried out with 48 participants in an immersive Virtual Environment setup with a large screen and headphones. Participants were grouped into three di fferent conditions. In the fi rst condition, spatialized audio rendering with head-related transfer function (HRTF) filtering was used. The second group was tested with conventional stereo rendering, and the remaining group ran the experiment in a mute condition.
Our results give a clear evidence that spatialized audio improves task performance compared to the unimodal mute condition. Since all task-relevant information was in the participants' field-of-view, we conclude that an enhancement of task performance results from a bimodal advantage due to the integration of visual and auditory spatial cues.
audio-visual perception, virtual environments, pedestrian safety, bimodal task faciliation, head related transfer functions
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