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Use of 3-D Sound Auditory Icons in the Enhancement of Human-Computer Interfaces for Partially Sighted Users

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Abstract:
 
"Use of 3-D Sound Auditory Icons in the Enhancement of Human-Computer Interfaces for Partially Sighted Users", (2003)
Armando Barreto, Peterjohn Hugh, Julie Jacko and Malek Adjouadi

ABSTRACT: Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) have facilitated the interaction between most humans and computers. But they are not equally accessible to users with diminished visual capabilities. Our research proposes the addition of spatial auditory feedback to assist these users in the search for icons in GUIs. In the enhanced GUI, a unique 3-D sound is associated with each icon. As the cursor traverses the screen, the user hears the sounds of nearby icons, spatially, according to the relative position of each icon with respect to the cursor, through the dynamic implementation of Head-Related Transfer Functions that tracks cursor movements. A software prototype of the concept described was developed to evaluate the performance of users under artificially imposed visual impairments, in the search of icons within the proposed interface.