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Acoustic Dance Dance Revolution (DDR): An Automated Test Tool for 3-D Sound Perception Evaluation with Visually Impaired Users

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Common off-the-shelf (COTS) 5.1 acoustic systems for PC computers are nowadays in affordable price, turning attractive the production of inclusive acoustic games and simulators, oriented to bound blind and non-blind users. The use of contextual 3D sound beacons as navigational aid allows user orientation and more sophisticated environments. However, predicting 3D contextual sound usability and/or playability as navigational aid with COTS equipment constraints can be difficult. Usability guides for acoustic games designers could address this issue. In this paper we focus on user response time, precision and torso/head position when presented to 3D acoustic stimuli. We present our experimental setup using COTS 5.1 acoustic and standard PC and early findings, using a "Dance Dance Revolution" game with acoustic guides instead of arrows to indicate user next dance step. User performance indicates that higher frequency broadband sounds enhance user precision when aiming at sound's virtual azimuth. A larger population and listening room will be used in the next experimental phase.

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