Project Description

Persons with hearing loss use visual signals such as gestures and lip movement to interpret speech. While hearing aids and cochlear implants can improve sound recognition, they generally do not help the wearer localize sound necessary to leverage these visual cues. In this paper, we design and evaluate visualizations for spatially locating sound on a head-mounted display (HMD). To investigate this design space, we developed eight high-level visual sound feedback dimensions. For each dimension, we created 3-12 example visualizations and evaluated these as a design probe with 24 deaf and hard of hearing participants (Study 1). We then implemented a real-time proof-of-concept HMD prototype and solicited feedback from 4 new participants (Study 2). Study 1 findings reaffirm past work on challenges faced by persons with hearing loss in group conversations, provide support for the general idea of sound awareness visualizations on HMDs, and reveal preferences for specific design options. Although preliminary, Study 2 further contextualizes the design probe and uncovers directions for future work.

This project is part of a larger research agenda exploring sound awareness support for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Sound Sensing and Feedback Techniques for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Dhruv Jain

UW CS PhD Dissertation

Head-Mounted Display Visualizations to Support Sound Awareness for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Dhruv Jain, Leah Findlater, Jamie H Gilkeson, Benjamin Holland, Ramani Duraiswami, Dmitry Zotkin, Christian Vogler, Jon E. Froehlich

Proceedings of CHI 2015