Bi-modal Task Faciliation in a Virtual Traffic Scenario through Spatialized Sound Rendering

Matthias Bernhard, Karl Grosse, Michael Wimmer
Bi-modal Task Faciliation in a Virtual Traffic Scenario through Spatialized Sound Rendering
ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 8(4):1-22, November 2011.

Information

Abstract

Audio rendering is generally used to increase the realism of Virtual Environments (VE). In addition, audio rendering may also improve the performance in specific tasks carried out in interactive applications such as games or simulators.

In this paper we investigate the effect 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: first, 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 different conditions. In the first 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.

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BibTeX

@article{bernhard-2011-bmtf,
  title =      "Bi-modal Task Faciliation in a Virtual Traffic Scenario
               through Spatialized Sound Rendering ",
  author =     "Matthias Bernhard and Karl Grosse and Michael Wimmer",
  year =       "2011",
  abstract =   "Audio rendering is generally used to increase the realism of
               Virtual Environments (VE). In addition, audio rendering may
               also improve the performance in specific tasks carried out
               in interactive applications such as games or simulators.  In
               this paper we investigate the effect 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: first, 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
               different conditions. In the first 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.",
  month =      nov,
  issn =       "1544-3558",
  journal =    "ACM Transactions on Applied Perception",
  note =       "Article No. 24",
  number =     "4",
  volume =     "8",
  pages =      "1--22",
  keywords =   "bimodal task faciliation, pedestrian safety, virtual
               environments, audio-visual perception, head related transfer
               functions",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2011/bernhard-2011-bmtf/",
}