Auditory displays to facilitate object targeting in 3D space
May, Keenan R.
Walker, Bruce N.
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In both extreme and everyday situations, humans need to find nearby objects that cannot be located visually. In such situations, auditory display technology could be used to display information supporting object targeting. Unfortunately, spatial audio inadequately conveys sound source elevation, which is crucial for locating objects in 3D space. To address this, three auditory display concepts were developed and evaluated in the context of finding objects within a virtual room, in either low or no visibility conditions: (1) a one-time height-denoting ﾓarea cue,ﾔ (2) ongoing ﾓproximity feedback,ﾔ or (3) both. All three led to improvements in performance and subjective workload compared to no sound. Displays (2) and (3) led to the largest improvements. This pattern was smaller, but still present, when visibility was low, compared to no visibility. These results indicate that persons who need to locate nearby objects in limited visibility conditions could benefit from the types of auditory displays considered here.