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Impact of spatial auditory feedback on the efficiency of iconic human–computer interfaces under conditions of visual impairment

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Abstract:
 
"Impact of spatial auditory feedback on the efficiency of iconic human–computer interfaces under conditions of visual impairment", (2007)
Barreto A., Jacko J. A., and Hugh P.

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the addition of spatial auditory feedback as a tool to assist people with visual impairments in the use of computers, speci.cally in tasks involving iconic visual search. In this augmented interface, unique sounds were mapped to visual icons on the screen. As the screen cursor traversed the screen, the user heard sounds of nearby icons, spatially, according to the relative position of each icon with respect to the screen cursor. A software prototype of the design was developed to evaluate the performance of users in the search of icons within the proposed interface. Experiments were conducted with simulated visual impairments on volunteer participants to evaluate if the addition of spatial auditory feedback makes the interface more accessible to users with impaired vision. Results demonstrated that spatialization of icon sounds provides additional remote navigational information to users, enabling new strategies for task completion. Directions for future research are discussed and prioritized.