Print Email Facebook Twitter Improving Auditory Navigation in Public Buildings for Blind and Visually impaired People Title Improving Auditory Navigation in Public Buildings for Blind and Visually impaired People Author Wang, X. Contributor Van Egmond, R. (mentor) Jansen, R. (mentor) Wallrafen, H. (mentor) Faculty Industrial Design Engineering Department Industrial Design Programme Master of Science Design for Interaction Date 2012-01-17 Abstract Compared with people with normal vision, blind and visually impaired people (B&VI) suffer from not only limited accessibility to public buildings but also poor experience of these buildings. However, the keen senses of sound and touch of B&VI, which are honed through daily practice and compensated by the loss of vision in brain, could be utilized to make up the inexistence of sight in navigation functionally and experientially. By exploring the possibilities of sonification, this project was intended to design an auditory navigation system of the interior of a public building for B&VI users. The aim of this system is to help B&VI to navigate in a building independently without any difficulties and to satisfy their curiosity to explore the building as well. The main approach of this project is research by design. The research includes field explorations of several public buildings and a literature study. According to the findings of literature study, B&VI have the same ability to perceive, process and understand spatial concepts as people with normal vision do, but that they do so more slowly and in different ways. Visual information can provide direct spatial relations of objects, while the auditory or tactile information that can be used for recognizing spatial relations have to be stored in memory and processed one by one. Previous studies showed that the main difficulty in indoor navigation and orientation is the missing of known landmarks. Based on the results mentioned above, a scale model for indoor navigation with auditory landmarks of known sound could help B&VI to establish sense of spatial relations. Designing such a scale model needs two steps: selecting the representative auditory landmarks and integrating the auditory landmarks to the scale model. User interviews were conducted to obtain insights of general navigation strategies of B&VI, which contributed to the designing of the frame of the model. Basic design requirements were generated and eight common landmarks, including landmarks for toilets, receptions, canteens, offices, elevators, staircases, doors, and smoking rooms, were selected for further development. In addition, a sound test with blind participants was conducted to select representative sounds. In order to better analyze how people perceive space through auditory information and how to make the best use of auditory landmarks for indoor navigation, two user studies were conducted with blindfolded participants. These studies showed that the most effective auditory information tends to be clear signal sounds rather than environment sounds recorded in reality. Through iterative building-and-testing cycles, the final concept Audigator was designed. Audigator is an interactive sound system, which could be applied to interior scale models, for navigation inside public buildings of blind and visually impaired people. With the help of a finger sleeve in blue color, Audigator could track the hand movement of users in the scale model by color detection with a webcam. Sound will be processed and played according to the relative position of finger and the preset positions of sound sources in the scale model. Quadraphonic sound setting of four speakers is applied to provide surround sound. Combined with the tangible objects representing sound sources, which are installed in the scale model, the sound play can help users to recognize the main functional objects or areas in the scale model and provide navigational information to the users. Subject auditorynavigationblindindoorpublic buildingdesign To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:19d20014-a96e-49ec-8ca7-3df1babc25a0 Access restriction Campus only Part of collection Student theses Document type master thesis Rights (c) 2012 Wang, X.