News details

  • Audio Space Station - ACE 2014 Bronze Poster Award
  • Mar 2015
  • Audio Space Station is a serious game developed at NOVA LINCS/DI/FCT that aims at helping visually impaired players to train sound localization skills and distinguish concepts usually covered at orientation and mobility classes, such as front/back, left/right, close/far. In addition, the game helps the players to train simple body rotation mobility skills.

    The game, which won the Bronze Poster Award at ACE 2014, was developed by Diogo Simões (MIEI) under the supervision of Profª Sofia Cavaco. It was designed for touch screen mobile devices and has an audio virtual environment created with 3D spatialized audio obtained with head-related transfer functions.

    Tiago Morais da Silva (MIEI) recently joined the team to run a pilot test at Centro Helen Keller with blind and low vision students. The students, who play the role of a scientist in a space station, have to localize alien insects only by listening to their 3D audio sounds, and rotate their bodies towards the sounds.

    The game was very well received by students and special education teachers. The students enjoyed the game and easily understood how to play it. The team could also observe the immediate impact of the game in the motor coordination of totally blind participants when they needed to turn around: while at the beginning of the test these participants kept their feet static and rotated only the upper body, at the final sessions they already moved freely in the room without any fear of bumping into objects or walls.

    This showed that access to these activities can have a positive impact in this type of motor coordination abilities.