Experimental Analysis of a Spatialised Audio Interface for People with Visual Impairments

Jacobus Lock, Iain D Gilchrist, Grzegorz Cielniak, Nicola Bellotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Sound perception is a fundamental skill for many people with severe sight impairments. The research presented in this paper is part of an ongoing project with the aim to create a mobile guidance aid to help people with
vision impairments find objects within an unknown indoor environment. This system requires an effective non-visual interface and uses bone-conduction headphones to transmit audio instructions to the user. It has been implemented and tested with spatialised audio cues, which convey the direction of a predefined target in3D space. We present an in-depth evaluation of the audio interface with several experiments that involve a large number of participants, both blindfolded and with actual visual impairments, and analyse the pros and cons of our design choices. In addition to producing results comparable to the state-of-the-art, we found that Fitts’s Law (a predictive model for human movement) provides a suitable metric that can be used to improve and refine the quality of the audio interface in future mobile navigation aids.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages22
JournalACM Transactions on Accessible Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Visual Perception


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Analysis of a Spatialised Audio Interface for People with Visual Impairments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this