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Binaural Spatialization Methods for Indoor Navigation

The visually impaired people are able to follow sound sources with a remarkable accuracy. They often use this ability to follow a guide in everyday activities or for practicing sports, like running or cycling. On the same principle, it is possible to guide people with spatialized sound. We have thus developed a navigation device to guide with sounds using binaural synthesis techniques. In this device we are using both localization information provided by a precise and low latency positioning system and heading data computed from an Inertial Measurement Unit. These positioning data are feeding an HRTF based binaural engine, producing spatialized sound in real-time and guiding the user along a way. The user follows the sound, quite naturally and without initial training. Experiments show that it is possible to guide a walker with enough precision.

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