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An Empirical Study of Hear-Through Augmented Reality: Using Bone Conduction to Deliver Spatialized Audio

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3 Author(s)
Lindeman, R.W. ; Worcester Polytech. Inst., Worcester ; Noma, H. ; Goncalves de Barros, P.

Augmented reality (AR) is the mixing of computer-generated stimuli with real-world stimuli. In this paper, we present results from a controlled, empirical study comparing three ways of delivering spatialized audio for AR applications: a speaker array, headphones, and a bone-conduction headset. Analogous to optical-see-through AR in the visual domain, hear-through AR allows users to receive computer-generated audio using the bone-conduction headset, and real-world audio using their unoccluded ears. Our results show that subjects achieved the best accuracy using a speaker array physically located around the listener when stationary sounds were played, but that there was no difference in accuracy between the speaker array and the bone-conduction device for sounds that were moving, and that both devices outperformed standard headphones for moving sounds. Subjective comments by subjects following the experiment support this performance data.

Published in:

Virtual Reality Conference, 2008. VR '08. IEEE

Date of Conference:

8-12 March 2008