Audio and visual distance perception of familiar and unfamiliar objects using wave field synthesis and a stereoscopic display

Richie, Sarah B.
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Braasch, Jonas
Xiang, Ning
Krueger, Ted (Theodore Edward), 1954-
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Architectural sciences
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Object distance perception can be influenced both by auditory and visual cues. This work seeks to examine the influence of both perceptual domains for familiar and unfamiliar auditory and visual stimuli. For example, a telephone is a familiar object, and a generic sphere is an unfamiliar object because the distance cannot be estimated from known dimensions. This study also examines the role of the direct-to-reverberant energy ratio in distance perception by varying it with accompanying virtual reality spaces. A Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) system and a stereoscopic large screen display using red-cyan anaglyph glasses were used to create the virtual objects. Utilizing WFS allowed for sources to be placed virtually behind and in front of the speaker array. Cues were presented audio-only, visual-only or audio and visual simultaneously. Participants were asked for the estimated depth of the object while randomizing the above scenarios. This work expands upon a previous study [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 137, 2374] by modifying the methods to fit a potentially collaborative environment. The results of this study lead to a similar conclusion that participants tended to perceive that visual cues were more prevalent in determining distance, even when auditory cues were present. This study also found that increasing the amount of reverberation can increase the perceived distance by up to six times. In regards to unfamiliar objects, participants tended to perceive that distance to the object stayed about the same even when the presented distance was increased. For familiar objects, participants perceived that distance to the object increased as the presented distance increased.
August 2019
School of Architecture
School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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