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Spatialized Audio in the Common Operating Perspective. Ryan Kilgore Mark Chignell University of Toronto Interactive Media Lab. Capt Stephen Boyne Nada Pavlovic Defence Research and Development Canada. NATO RTO VizCOP 14-17 Sep 04 Toronto, ON. Overview .

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spatialized audio in the common operating perspective

Spatialized Audio in the Common Operating Perspective

Ryan Kilgore

Mark Chignell

University of Toronto

Interactive Media Lab

Capt Stephen Boyne

Nada Pavlovic

Defence Research and Development Canada

NATO RTO VizCOP

14-17 Sep 04

Toronto, ON

overview
Overview
  • Motivate use of Spatial Audio in COP
  • Human Factors Issues and Sample Uses
  • Introduction to spatial audio
  • The Vocal Village: A spatialized VoIP system
  • Experimental Results
  • Proposals for Future Use
common operating perspective
“Common Operating Perspective”?
  • The perspective is not a picture, it is a mental model built in the head of the commander/operator based on information inputs
  • “Picture” ignores the role of audio and other senses. Humans are multi-modal creatures.
  • “COP is a shared mental image of what is going on”
  • Audio should be part of the perspective
requirements
Requirements
  • Support close interaction of a “mixed expert team” viewing the same picture
  • Give the involved people “close to real-time” situation awareness
  • Be intuitively understandable without special training
  • Minimize the need for mental transformations and cognitive effort
  • Available now or in near future
    • “let’s try stuff out and see what works”
    • 70% working solution is better than 110% unavailable
human factors issues
Human Factors Issues
  • Stress and Performance
  • Workload and Time stress
  • Attentional Resource Theory
  • Situation Awareness, Monitoring
  • Alerting and Orienting
  • Discrimination of signals in noise
audio applications for cop
Audio Applications for COP
  • Cueing for multiple screen displays
  • Monitoring multiple audio streams simultaneously
  • Different audio info dependent upon listener’s location in CP
  • Development of an always on audio space with spatialized components
usage considerations
Usage Considerations
  • Allow personalization of audio space
  • Avoid mental transformations
  • Locate different auditory displays and communication channels in different spatial positions
  • Distributed Speaker arrays can be used to provide required spatial audio effects
spatial audio explanation
spatial audio | explanation
  • Similar to binocular vision
  • Result of the brain’s ability to perceive relative differences between signals picked up by the left and right ears (time, volume, frequency)
  • Allows people with binaural hearing to locate sound sources in three-dimensional space

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

spatial audio benefits
spatial audio | benefits
  • Laboratory experimentation and realistic scenarios (e.g., use by pilots) have demonstrated numerous cognitive benefits of spatial audio when compared to non-spatial audio, including:
      • increased intelligibility of speech
      • improved detection of signals at lower signal-to-noise ratios
      • improving memory, comprehension, and speaker identification in audioconference environments

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

the vocal village overview
the Vocal Village | overview
  • Real-time VoIP audioconferencing through client/server architecture
  • Low-fidelity binaural cues allow for the presentation of individual conferee voices from different apparent locations, low bandwidth requirements
  • Voice locations may be automatically controlled or manually customized by individual participants through a Graphical User Interface
  • Minimal requirements placed on client for maximum portability

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

experiment design
experiment | design
  • Subjects listened to a series of four pre-recorded audioconferences held between the same four women. The conferences were presented in four different formats, using a within-subjects design:
      • Nonspatialized audio (Mono)
      • Low-fidelity spatialized audio, with conferees in random positions (Random)
      • Low-fidelity spatialized audio, with conferee location determined by subject (Vocal Village)
      • Audio spatialized using commercial CoolEdit 3D software, with speakers in random positions (CoolEdit)

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

experiment results
experiment | results

User Preference: Audio format had a significant effect on User Preference, with the personalized, spatial Vocal Village format being the most preferred (1 is “best” in the table below).

F[3,66] = 18.77, p < 0.001

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

experiment results15
experiment |results
  • Perceived Attention Allocation:
    • Varied significantly by audio format (F[3,66] = 6.572, p = 0.001).
    • Personalized spatial display best
    • Spatialized conference better than mono

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

experiment results16
experiment |results

Perceived Speaker Identification Difficulty:

Easier for spatialized conference

F[3,66] = 7.44, p < 0.001

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

experiment conclusions
experiment |conclusions
  • Low-fidelity, “within-the-head” spatialization techniques implemented within the Vocal Village tended to increase objective performance (not significant)
  • Personalized spatialization provided by the Vocal Village significantly improves user perceptions of performance (increased confidence and ease of speaker identification)
  • The Vocal Village environment was significantly preferred by users to traditional audioconferencing

Spatialized audio: worth considering for COP?

spatialized audio and situation awareness
spatialized audio and situation awareness
  • Study looked at spatialized radio messages in MOUT environment
  • 3 Levels of fidelity examined
    • Stereo
    • Generic HRTF
    • Free Field
results
Results
  • Spatial Audio improved message location identification
  • Lack of head tracking appears to diminish effect of spatialized audio
proposal conclusions
Proposal/Conclusions
  • Technology for presenting spatial audio in the COP is available
  • Picking up the phone to communicate should be replaced with sophisticated audio spaces that promote awareness and offload visual processing
  • Spatial Audio can also be used to simplify the task of orienting to alerts and messages
  • To try out spatialized audioconferencing download the client from:
  • www.vocalvillage.net (chignell@mie.utoronto.ca) for more info on the Vocal Village
spatialized audio in situation awareness
Spatialized audio in situation awareness
  • Study to examine use of spatialized audio cues in target localization and memory for spatial layout
  • In support of 3D sensor views and 2D topographic displays
  • Different audio configurations may aid different tasks