2D spatial audio in a molecular navigator/editor for blind and visually impaired users

Ian Rodrigues, Ricardo Teixeira, Sofia Cavaco, Vasco D.B. Bonifácio, Daniela Peixoto, Yuri Binev, Florbela Pereira, Ana M. Lobo, João Aires-De-Sousa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to contribute to the access of blind and visually impaired (BVI) people to the study of chemistry, we are developing Navmol, an application that helps BVI chemistry students to interpret molecular structures. This application uses sound to transmit the information about the structure of the molecules. Navmol uses voice synthesis and describes the molecules using the clock polar type coordinates. In order to help the users to mentally conceptualize the molecular structure representations more easily, we propose to use 2D spatial audio. This way, the audio signal generated by the application gives the user the perception of sound originating from the directions of the bonds between the atoms in the molecules. The sound spatialization is obtained with head related transfer functions. The results of a usability study show that the combination of spatial audio with the description of the molecules using the clock reference system helps BVI users to understand the molecules' structure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDAFx 2017 - Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh
Pages360-366
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
Event20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects, DAFx 2017 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20179 Sep 2017

Conference

Conference20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects, DAFx 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period5/09/179/09/17

Keywords

  • Clocks
  • Molecular structure
  • Molecules
  • Sound reproduction
  • Synthesis (chemical)

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  • Cite this

    Rodrigues, I., Teixeira, R., Cavaco, S., Bonifácio, V. D. B., Peixoto, D., Binev, Y., Pereira, F., Lobo, A. M., & Aires-De-Sousa, J. (2017). 2D spatial audio in a molecular navigator/editor for blind and visually impaired users. In DAFx 2017 - Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (pp. 360-366). University of Edinburgh.