3-D Audio for HCI

Richard O.Duda
Department of Electrical Engineering
San Jose State University

© 1996-2000 Richard O. Duda; all rights reserved*

Sound provides an obviously important but still underutilized channel for Human/Computer Interaction (HCI). Speech recognition is sometimes used to provide a hands-free input alternative to the mouse and keyboard. These notes are concerned with the output of spatial sound.

All computers provide some kind of alerting "beep" for output, and today's multimedia-equipped computers can provide CD-quality stereo sound. Conventional stereo can easily place a sound in any spot between the left and right loudspeakers. However, with true 3-D sound, the source can be placed in any location -- right or left, up or down, near or far. These notes explain how this can be done. We cover the following topics:

* These notes provide background on 3-D sound. They were originally prepared for an NSF-sponsored course entitled Human Computer Interface Design. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted with or without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on services, or to redistribute to lists, requires specific permission and/or a fee.