Sounds impact on Navigation in low-ligt VR-enviroment

In this project, we trying to look into alternative ways of cueing information in a Virtual Reality. Instead the typical visual cues as the main, we tried experimenting with audio cues in a game with very little visual cue.

Abstract

Virtual reality enjoys a lot of research on its visual aspects leaving room for additional research on the audio aspect of designing experiences for virtual reality.
The motivation for this project takes its roots in the video game industry and claims from users that games often fail to uphold the feeling of immersion and navigating becomes harder when developers try to design lowly lit environments. Using audio cues instead of visual cues is proposed as a solution to this problem.
The project aims to explore different sound attributes’ ability to help navigation inside virtual reality
To do this the field of virtual reality and subjects such as binaural sound, navigation, designing for virtual reality and the feeling of presence (an extended experience of immersion which may occur in virtual reality) were studied. Theory in these fields are analysed and applied into design requirements used for and developed upon throughout multiple iterations consisting of design, implementation and evaluation. Evaluations were carried out using parts of the ITC-SOPI for measuring presence and data logging for navigational performance.
The results undergo statistical analysis in an attempt to catch a significant effect caused by the changes made between test conditions.
Statistical test (One-way independent ANOVA) for the first iteration results showed no significant effects, probably due to a small sample sizes. Changes were made to the second iteration narrowing the focus allowing for a larger sample size. Statistical test (Wilcoxon Ranksum test) catched a significant effect. The participants’ feeling of presence did not change significantly between iterations.

Link to report