Hearing Neon Signs: Spatialized Audio Augmented Reality for Blind Users

By Jeff Blum, McGill University, Canada

In Situ Audio Services (ISAS) is an eyes-free mobile system designed to give blind users a better sense of their surroundings. Although other systems emphasize navigation from one specific location to another, typically accomplished by explicit turn-by-turn instructions, our goal is to use ambient spatialized audio to reveal the kind of information that visual cues such as neon signs provide to sighted users. Once users notice a point of interest, additional details are available on demand.