Within the frame of the Dark-Matters program (http://www.lhi.is/news/dark-matters – in Icelandic) – an interdisciplinary set of activities, led by the artist, architect, philosopher and poet Eric Ellingsen and- the Sound of Vision team performed a sound localization experiment, with binaural techniques, simulating the conditions that blind persons face. This activity took place during the second week of January 2016, at the Icelandic Academy of Arts, where 20 students participated; about half of them, from the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences of the University of Iceland and the rest from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts.
Using the ZOOM H5 Recording Device, an initial record was taken with a two miniature microphones positioned at the entrance of the ear canal of each particular person, and afterwards, the recorded scene was shown to the same person, sitting at the same point, and having the electroacoustic transducers at the same position. Surprisingly for the artists which were present at the event, sound localization was reached, and perception of spatialization was clear; this fact due to the presence of binaural cues for spatial hearing.
A simulation of the behavior, and the choices that blind people must acquire, in order to improve their orientation skills, through the acquisition of spatial information, with other senses, such as hearing and haptics, was also carried out. The persons in the experiment interacted with the use of white cane and blindmasks, and were involved into an environment where despites of obstacles, walls and doors, they should, with orientation cues given by the trainer, find their destination pathway.
At the end, a short talk, regarding the Sound of Vision achievements and future solutions, was held; here, theoretical background, regarding 3D sound and echolocation procedures from nature were analyzed, as well as their inspiration for future research.