An optimized spatial audio system for virtual training simulations: Design and evaluation
Jones, David L
Stanney, Kay M
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This paper explains the design and evaluation of an optimized spatial audio system for a close quarters combat virtual training system. The study explained herein compared performance levels of participants training with the system based on the auditory spatialization fidelity level that sound was presented at. The three levels of fidelity that were evaluated were nonspatialized audio, and the use of a generalized HRTF model, or best-fit HRTF models to present audio. This study focused on the capability of spatialized audio to direct a search and detection task in an applied training environment. The results demonstrate that the use of spatialized audio systems lead to better performance on applied search and detection tasks over nonspatialized audio or systems lacking sound altogether. On the other hand, the results do not show performance differences between participants using generalized HRTF's when compared to best-fit HRTF's. The results help to extend studies evaluating the use of 3D audio systems [1,2,3,4,5] to a more applied setting and may be of interest to those designing virtual training systems with an integrated audio component.