HMD-based Virtual Environments for Localization Experiments
* Presenting author
Research on virtual acoustic environments (VAEs) has gained more and more interest in the last decades. In this context, VAEs have become an accepted research tool for performing psychoacoustic experiments. However, such experiments were often carried out under varying conditions. There were differences in the VAE systems, in the method of reporting the participant's judgments, or in the statistical measures.
This work presents an approach for performing listening experiments in head-mounted display (HMD)-based virtual reality (VR) systems. The experiment was developed in Unity 3D and is therefore easy to implement with standard VR hardware in any laboratory. This allows reproducibility and transparency of future investigations.
To conduct sound localization studies using the VR system, we implemented a new pointing method for localization and distance estimation experiments. In an HMD-based virtual environment, the participants have to move a pointer to the perceived position of the auditory event using a VR controller. This enables judgments in any direction and distance.
To evaluate our new method, we compared it with the established finger- and head-pointing methods in a first VR listening experiment. In addition to the localization performance, we also examined effects like the comfort for the participants or the speed of judgment.