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Cross-Modal Investigations For Improving Sound Localisation Accuracy: A Mounted Vibrotactile Headset Design

This engineering brief outlines the design and implementation of a vibrotactile headset for use in experiments related to cross-modal auditory localisation. The device elicits vibration to the scalp through transducers mounted on a silicon cap and is considered for use in research for improving sound localisation in non-individualized binaural rendering through the addition of an extra modality. The system is optimized to create a somatosensory receptor sensitivity map to vibrational actuation in terms of perceptive directionality on the scalp surface. The paper documents the headset design and the characterization of eccentric rotation motors and linear resonance actuators in order to identify the most suitable vibration motor for use in the device. The motors have been characterized based on mounted and non-mounted dampening by a silicon cap for maximum malleability and comfort for test participants whilst taking into consideration vibrational frequency, acceleration amplitude (G), displacement amplitude (mm), bone conduction radius (BCR) and amplitude (dB/G). The design is applicable to audio for virtual and augmented reality applications, where the user is required to wear a video headset.

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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=20916

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