Development and evaluation of mobile audio augmented reality systems

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Design Engineering

Abstract

Augmented reality is now what virtual reality was ten years ago: everyone talks about it and wants to do something with it. Although this technology is often associated with visual-oriented applications, there is lots of potential in the audio side. Nowadays, visual augmented reality is only able to overlay digital elements on top of reality, making them easy to discern. However, audio augmented reality (AAR) can potentially blend real-world sounds with computer generated ones, making them virtually indistinguishable from each other. There are several ways to achieve this. One is to use binaural microphones/earphones, such as Roland's Binaural Earphones [1], in combination with binaural audio techniques. Such techniques employ digital signal processing to "trick" the human brain into locating virtual sound sources in precise points of the surrounding space (example: [2]). Another approach could be to use open-fitting or bone-conduction headphones, which do not occlude the ears and allow the user to naturally hear sounds from the surrounding environment. AAR could open an undreamed-of world of possibilities. For instance, 3D audio navigational cues can be sent to blind individuals, helping them to orientate in an unknown environment and, at the same time, be aware of what happens in the surroundings, e.g. by enhancing the sound of an incoming vehicle.
The main goal of this project is to make mobile Audio Augmented Reality a feasible technology, and to explore its potential applications.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
1858930 Studentship EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 15/10/2020 Isaac Engel Alonso-Martinez