Vibrotactile Detection, Identification and Directional Perception of signal-Processed Sounds from Environmental Events: A Pilot Field Evaluation in Five Cases
Iranian Rehabilitation Journal
Objectives: Conducting field tests of a vibrotactile aid for deaf/deafblind persons for detection, identification and directional perception of environmental sounds. Methods: Five deaf (3F/2M, 22–36 years) individuals tested the aid separately in a home environment (kitchen) and in a traffic environment. Their eyes were blindfolded and they wore a headband and holding a vibrator for sound identification. In the headband, three microphones were mounted and two vibrators for signalling direction
... f the sound source. The sounds originated from events typical for the home environment and traffic. The subjects were inexperienced (events unknown) and experienced (events known). They identified the events in a home and traffic environment, but perceived sound source direction only in traffic. Results: The detection scores were higher than 98% both in the home and in the traffic environment. In the home environment, identification scores varied between 25%-58% when the subjects were inexperienced and between 33%-83% when they were experienced. In traffic, identification scores varied between 20%-40% when the subjects were inexperienced and between 22%-56% when they were experienced. The directional perception scores varied between 30%-60% when inexperienced and between 61%-83% when experienced. Discussion: The vibratory aid consistently improved all participants' detection, identification and directional perception ability.