The Impact of Spatialized Communications on Team Navigation

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A team navigation task allowed the evaluation of spatialized communications to help ground soldiers maintain awareness of each other’s locations in complex environments. Subjects had to rendezvous as quickly as possible from unknown starting locations in large, unfamiliar, urban virtual environments. Traditional monaural and 3D audio communication channels were compared. In the 3D audio condition, talkers could make their communications sound like they arose from their own location or from the location of another object in the environment (audio annotation). Some conditions included additional prominent landmarks. Rendezvous times were significantly shorter in the 3D audio condition, but the presence or absence of additional landmarks did not impact performance. The results are compared to previous research on spatialized auditory displays and on team navigation.


Presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, October 22-26, 2012.



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