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Evaluation of a Vision-to-Audition Substitution System that Provides 2D WHERE Information and Fast User Learning

10/18/2020
by   Louis Commère, et al.
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Vision to audition substitution devices are designed to convey visual information through auditory input. The acceptance of such systems depends heavily on their ease of use, training time, reliability and on the amount of coverage of online auditory perception of current auditory scenes. Existing devices typically require extensive training time or complex and computationally demanding technology. The purpose of this work is to investigate the learning curve for a vision to audition substitution system that provides simple location features. Forty-two blindfolded users participated in experiments involving location and navigation tasks. Participants had no prior experience with the system. For the location task, participants had to locate 3 objects on a table after a short familiarisation period (10 minutes). Then once they understood the manipulation of the device, they proceeded to the navigation task: participants had to walk through a large corridor without colliding with obstacles randomly placed on the floor. Participants were asked to repeat the task 5 times. In the end of the experiment, each participant had to fill out a questionnaire to provide feedback. They were able to perform localisation and navigation effectively after a short training time with an average of 10 minutes. Their navigation skills greatly improved across the trials.

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