Using Spatial Audio in Minimal Attention Interfaces: Towards An Effective Audio GPS Navigation System

Day, Robert; Holland, Simon; Bowers, David and Dil, Anton (2004). Using Spatial Audio in Minimal Attention Interfaces: Towards An Effective Audio GPS Navigation System. Technical Report 2004/08; Department of Computing, The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00016014

Abstract

This paper builds on previous empirical work (Holland et al, 2002) and discusses the potentialfor spatial audio to be used in minimal attention user interfaces, and in the context of navigationaltasks. Spatial audio in this context is closely related to 3-d audio or virtual audio. The benefits of aspatial audio system for users are highlighted, with particular attention given to in-car systems. In-carsystems have been chosen due to their inherent and heightened need for minimal attention interaction,and for the purposes of illustration. Current in-car navigation technology is critically discussed, withattention to potential issues that the proposed spatial audio system may address. Alternative spatialaudio systems, such as those developed for the visually impaired, are also highlighted and discussedwith reference to the implications of differences (and similarities) to the proposed system. The relativeimportance of psychoacoustics is suggested in terms of guiding the appropriate spatial audio systemdesign. Current issues surrounding spatial audio technology are discussed, and implications for theproposed system are highlighted. Areas of potential investigation are taken from existing research andsuggestions for further work to be undertaken are made.

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