6th International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks

Research Article

Bilateral Vibrotactile Feedback for Accurate Lateralization in Hearing Instrument Body Area Networks

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.bodynets.2011.246910,
        author={Bernd Tessendorf and Peter Derleth and Manuela Feilner and Tobias Gr\aa{}mer and Daniel Roggen and Michael Spuhler and Thomas Stiefmeier and Gerhard Tr\o{}ster},
        title={Bilateral Vibrotactile Feedback for Accurate Lateralization in Hearing Instrument Body Area Networks},
        proceedings={6th International ICST Conference on Body Area Networks},
        publisher={ICST},
        proceedings_a={BODYNETS},
        year={2012},
        month={6},
        keywords={hearing instrument vibrotactile feedback user study},
        doi={10.4108/icst.bodynets.2011.246910}
    }
    
  • Bernd Tessendorf
    Peter Derleth
    Manuela Feilner
    Tobias Grämer
    Daniel Roggen
    Michael Spuhler
    Thomas Stiefmeier
    Gerhard Tröster
    Year: 2012
    Bilateral Vibrotactile Feedback for Accurate Lateralization in Hearing Instrument Body Area Networks
    BODYNETS
    ICST
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.bodynets.2011.246910
Bernd Tessendorf1,*, Peter Derleth2, Manuela Feilner2, Tobias Grämer3, Daniel Roggen1, Michael Spuhler1, Thomas Stiefmeier1, Gerhard Tröster1
  • 1: ETH Zurich
  • 2: Phonak AG
  • 3: USZ Zurich
*Contact email: tessendorf@ife.ee.ethz.ch

Abstract

Hearing Instruments (HIs) have emerged as true body area networks (HI-BANs). They connect wirelessly to accessories such as remote controls and Bluetooth devices. Multimodal sensor data from a HI-BAN is a way to adapt the HI behavior to the user's current hearing situation. As a potential future HI-BAN component we investigate bilateral vibrotactile feedback to support localization of sound sources. As a foundation we investigate different feedback and vibration patterns. We implemented two approaches for encoding lateral target angles: Continuous Guidance Feedback (CGF) and 6 variants with evolving complexity of Quantized Absolute Heading (QAH). In a user study with 16 normal hearing participants we evaluate lateralization error and response time. For QAH results show a trade off between the minimal quantization error due to the encoding and the number of user errors due to misinterpretation of presented patterns. Results also show a trade off between response time and minimum lateralization error. Choosing the most suitable bilateral vibrotactile encoding schemes is application-specific: For QAH a minimal average lateralization error of 27 degree was achieved with eight 45 degree-segments. A minimal average user response time of 900ms was achieved with four 45 degree-segments. CGF guides the user within a given tolerance margin to the target at the cost of higher response time. For complex encoding schemes the performance is person-specific.