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Spatial Auditory User Interfaces

Authors Putz, V.
Year 2004
Thesis Type Diploma thesis
Topic Interaction Design
Keywords binaural, signal processing, Ambisonics
Abstract In this thesis, the concept of a user interface with the aid of 3D spatial sound as interaction facility for blind and visually impaired users is investigated. Existing computer interfaces (hard – and software solutions) for this group of users have a sequential character they can hardly provide the benefits a graphical application offers for sighted users. To have an auditory realisation of equal usability compared to a graphical application, a suitable encoding of the content and appropriate facilities for interaction must be found. This thesis at first deals with the question, how existing applications can be prepared for the acoustic representation in a structured and semantically meaningful way. A semantic description of the content of an application free of graphical information with the help of so- called interaction patterns is proposed. These patterns are possible solutions for problems and user intentions which appear when interacting with an application. With this general description, the application can be represented in different modes (graphic, auditory ). The Transformation into these modes is performed with a set of transformation rules. These transformation rules are also investigated and evaluated within the thesis with regard to metaphors, the interaction with the interface and the presentation of information by auditory means. This also includes the description of two listening tests which were performed by blind and normal sighted test users and which produced encouraging results. The evaluation of the listening tests and the drawn conclusions complete the thesis.
Supervisors Höldrich, R., Frauenberger, C.