Game-driven experiment, 2012

Audio and Acoustics Research Group [IE/PL]

Are You a Good Localiser is a scientific experiment held within the context of an immersive 3D game based solely on sounds. The aim of the experiment is to investigate auditory perception in the absence of other cues such as vision. More precisely, it examines the net effect of enhancing the auditory information that players heavily rely upon. The comparison is based on the performance of two different concurrent audio rendering systems, both designed to present audio over headphones. The first system makes use of the state-of-the-art 3D audio rendering technology commonly used in video games. The second system provides enhanced audio localisation cues. The enhancements concern parameters such as sound field stability, spatial resolution, reverberation and distance rendering. The code name of this prototype system is THRIVE [Tracking Headphones Realise Immersive Virtual Environments] and it has been the focus of this team’s research for the past 2 years. THRIVE explores the delivery of spatial audio to individual listeners using headphones. Research into simplification of the synthesis has provided novel interpolation and synthesis algorithms as well as new insights into the perceptual properties of spatial audio. The THRIVE system consists of signal processing and physical prototypes that utilise head-tracking for real-time rendering of audio over headphones. The developed prototype provides the listener with the experience of an audio source that is spatially associated with a video display, regardless of their listening orientation. The system has commercial potential in the video game industry, by enabling the creation of personal immersive 3D audio and video presentations with accurate associations in space and time.

Image: Marcin Gorzel 


"“Are you a Good Localiser challenges you to localise and eliminate enemies as quickly as possible. There is a triggering device acting as a handgun and a tracking system that will follow your arm’s motion. However, there is a catch—there are absolutely no visuals [to ensure that, you will be blindfolded] and to survive it is necessary to rely completely on what you hear. The key component in this experiment is the audio system used for rendering the all-around-you sound field. In some scenarios audio is produced in a traditional way and 3D sound will be presented over a pair of standard headphones. However, in other scenarios, the audio will be enhanced and stabilised using face-tracking technology.”"

—Audio and Acoustics Research Group [IE/PL]