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Psychoacoustic Sonification as User Interface for Human-Machine Interaction

12/18/2019
by   Tim Ziemer, et al.
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When operating a machine, the operator needs to know some spatial relations, like the relative location of the target or the nearest obstacle. Often, sensors are used to derive this spatial information, and visual displays are deployed as interfaces to communicate this information to the operator. In this paper, we present psychoacoustic sonification as an alternative interface for human-machine interaction. Instead of visualizations, an interactive sound guides the operator to the desired target location, or helps her avoid obstacles in space. By considering psychoacoustics — i.e., the relationship between the physical and the perceptual attributes of sound — in the audio signal processing, we can communicate precisely and unambiguously interpretable direction and distance cues along three orthogonal axes to a user. We present exemplary use cases from various application areas where users can benefit from psychoacoustic sonification.

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