3D audio interfaces for the blind
MetadataShow full item record
Our work is dealing with alternative interaction modes for visually impaired and blind people to use computers. The aim of the proposed approach is to exploit the human hearing capabilities to a better degree than this is done by customary screen-readers. A surrounding, three-dimensional audio interface is potentially increasing the information flow between a computer and the user. This paper presents a virtual audio reality (VAR) system which allows computer users to explore a virtual environment only by their sense of hearing. The used binaural audio rendering implements directional hearing and room acoustics via headphones to provide an authentic simulation of a real room. Users can freely move around using a joystick. The proposed application programming interface (API) is intended to ease the development of user applications for this VAR system. It provides an easy to use C++ interface to the audio rendering layer. The signal processing is performed by a digital signal processor (DSP). Besides the details of the technical realisation, this paper also investigates the user requirements for the target group.