Auditory feedback in a multimodal balancing task: walking on a virtual rope

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2011 (2011)


We describe a multimodal system which exploits the use of footwear-based interaction in virtual environments.
We developed a pair of shoes enhanced with pressure sensors, actuators, and markers.
Such shoes control a multichannel surround sound system and drive a physically based sound synthesis engine which simulates the act of walking on different surfaces.
We present the system in all its components, and explain its ability to simulate natural interactive walking in virtual environments.
The system was used in an experiment whose goal was to assess the ability of subjects to walk blindfolded on a virtual plank. Results show that subjects perform the task slightly better when they are exposed to haptic feedback as opposed to auditory feedback, although no significant differences are measured.
The combination of auditory and haptic feedback does not significantly enhances the task performance.

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