Creating an Audio Story with Interactive Binaural Rendering in Virtual Reality

Michele Geronazzo, Amalie Leopold Hyldig Rosenkvist, David Sebastian Eriksen, Camilla Kirstine Markmann-Hansen, Jeppe Køhlert, Miicha Valimaa, Mikkel Brogaard Vittrup, Stefania Serafin

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The process of listening to an audiobook is usually a rather passive act that does not require an active interaction. If spatial interaction is incorporated into a storytelling scenario, can open. Possibilities of a novel experience which allows an active participation might affect the user-experience. The aim of this paper is to create a portable prototype system based on an embedded hardware platform, allowing listeners to get immersed in an interactive audio storytelling experience enhanced by dynamic binaural audio rendering. For the evaluation of the experience, a short story based on the horror narrative of Stephen King’s Strawberry Springs is adapted and designed in virtual environments. A comparison among three different listening experiences, namely, (i) monophonic (traditional audio story), (ii) static binaural rendering (state-of-the-art audio story), and (iii) our prototype, is conducted. We discuss the quality of the experience based on usability testing, physiological data, emotional assessments, and questionnaires for immersion and spatial presence. Results identify a clear trend for an increase in immersion with our prototype compared to traditional audiobooks, showing also an emphasis on story-specific emotions, i.e., terror and fear.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1463204
JournalWireless Communications and Mobile Computing (Print)
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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