Three dimensional auditory display: Issues in applications for visually impaired students
This paper discusses issues arising from both practical investigations and conceptual work directed towards applications of three dimensional (3D) audio displays for blind students. These applications fall into two distinct categories: 1. The use of 3D audio to enhance interaction with the computer environment generally and 2. The creation of auditory virtual learning environments. In the first category this paper discusses the issue of what should be the underlying metaphor for interaction, after stating the inappropriateness of the desk-top metaphor now ubiquitous in graphical computer interfaces. In the second area this paper outlines how various learning objectives may be achieved in 3D rendered audio and issues emerging from this are discussed with reference to an illustrative example of a sonic orrery.