Binaural bone-conducted sound in virtual environments
Journal article, 2008
Virtual and augmented reality applications provide us with increasingly compelling il- lusory worlds by combinations of different sensory cues. Although spatial sound technologies are often used in such applications, headphone based sound reproduction can create an undesired “mediation awareness” for an end-user. An alternative can be provided by bone-conducted sound technologies, traditionally used in hearing aids applications. Recent studies with bilaterally fitted bone-conduction transducers suggest that binaural sound cues can be rendered using this technology. In this paper we used binaural bone-conducted sound reproduction for enhancing a multi-modal self-motion sim- ulator prototype. Similar to previous results from headphone based reproduction, the present study shows that the addition of moving sound images to visual stimuli significantly increase vection and spatial presence responses. These results provide empirical evidence that convincing auditory scenes can be created using spatial bone-conducted sound and HRTF’s of at least 600 horizontal resolu- tion. The present research demonstrates the feasibility of using binaural bone-conducted sound in mediated environments.