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Proceedings Paper

Acoustic-tactile rendering of visual information
Author(s): Pubudu Madhawa Silva; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Joshua Atkins; James E. West; William M. Hartmann
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Paper Abstract

In previous work, we have proposed a dynamic, interactive system for conveying visual information via hearing and touch. The system is implemented with a touch screen that allows the user to interrogate a two-dimensional (2-D) object layout by active finger scanning while listening to spatialized auditory feedback. Sound is used as the primary source of information for object localization and identification, while touch is used both for pointing and for kinesthetic feedback. Our previous work considered shape and size perception of simple objects via hearing and touch. The focus of this paper is on the perception of a 2-D layout of simple objects with identical size and shape. We consider the selection and rendition of sounds for object identification and localization. We rely on the head-related transfer function for rendering sound directionality, and consider variations of sound intensity and tempo as two alternative approaches for rendering proximity. Subjective experiments with visually-blocked subjects are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches. Our results indicate that intensity outperforms tempo as a proximity cue, and that the overall system for conveying a 2-D layout is quite promising.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8291, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVII, 82910M (8 March 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.916166
Show Author Affiliations
Pubudu Madhawa Silva, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Joshua Atkins, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
James E. West, The Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
William M. Hartmann, Michigan State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8291:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XVII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Huib de Ridder, Editor(s)

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