The impact of head-worn devices in an auditory-aided visual search task

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Abstract

Head-worn devices (HWDs) interfere with the natural transmission of sound from the source to the ears of the listener, worsening their localization abilities. The localization errors introduced by HWDs have been mostly studied in static scenarios, but these errors are reduced if head movements are allowed. We studied the effect of 12 HWDs on an auditory-cued visual search task, where head movements were not restricted. In this task, a visual target had to be identified in a three-dimensional space with the help of an acoustic stimulus emitted from the same location as the visual target. The results showed an increase in the search time caused by the HWDs. Acoustic measurements of a dummy head wearing the studied HWDs showed evidence of impaired localization cues, which were used to estimate the perceived localization errors using computational auditory models of static localization. These models were able to explain the search-time differences in the perceptual task, showing the influence of quadrant errors in the auditory-aided visual search task. These results indicate that HWDs have an impact on sound-source localization even when head movements are possible, which may compromise the safety and the quality of experience of the wearer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2460-2469
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume155
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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