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Article

Spot-Presentation of Stereophonic Earcons to Assist Navigation for the Visually Impaired

1
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
2
Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan
3
Headquarters for International Industry-University Collaboration, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2020, 4(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030042
Received: 12 June 2020 / Accepted: 16 July 2020 / Published: 20 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Human–Computer Interaction)
This study seeks to demonstrate that a navigation system using stereophonic sound technology is effective in supporting visually impaired people in public spaces. In the proposed method, stereophonic sound is produced by a pair of parametric speakers for a person who comes to a specific position, detected by an RGB-D sensor. The sound is a stereophonic earcon representing the target facility. The recipient can intuitively understand the direction of the target facility. The sound is not audible for anyone except for the person being supported and is not noisy. This system is constructed in a shopping mall, and an experiment is conducted, in which the proposed system and guidance by a tactile map lead to a designated facility. As a result, it is confirmed, that the execution time of the proposed method is reduced. It is also confirmed that the proposed method shows higher performance in terms of the average time required to grasp the direction than the tactile map approach. In the actual environment where this system is supposed to be used, the correct answer rate is over 80%. These results suggest that the proposed method can replace the conventional tactile map as a guidance system. View Full-Text
Keywords: earcon; parametric speaker; visually impaired people; assistive technology; sonification earcon; parametric speaker; visually impaired people; assistive technology; sonification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mashiba, Y.; Iwaoka, R.; Bilal Salih, H.E.; Kawamoto, M.; Wakatsuki, N.; Mizutani, K.; Zempo, K. Spot-Presentation of Stereophonic Earcons to Assist Navigation for the Visually Impaired. Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2020, 4, 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030042

AMA Style

Mashiba Y, Iwaoka R, Bilal Salih HE, Kawamoto M, Wakatsuki N, Mizutani K, Zempo K. Spot-Presentation of Stereophonic Earcons to Assist Navigation for the Visually Impaired. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2020; 4(3):42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030042

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mashiba, Yuichi, Ryunosuke Iwaoka, Hisham E. Bilal Salih, Masayuki Kawamoto, Naoto Wakatsuki, Koichi Mizutani, and Keiichi Zempo. 2020. "Spot-Presentation of Stereophonic Earcons to Assist Navigation for the Visually Impaired" Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 4, no. 3: 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4030042

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