ONTRACK: Dynamically adapting music playback to support navigation

Jones, Matt; Jones, Steve; Bradley, Gareth; Warren, Nigel; Bainbridge, David; Holmes, Geoff
November 2008
Personal & Ubiquitous Computing;Nov2008, Vol. 12 Issue 7, p513
Academic Journal
Listening to music on personal, digital devices whilst mobile is an enjoyable, everyday activity. We explore a scheme for exploiting this practice to immerse listeners in navigation cues. Our prototype, ONTRACK, continuously adapts audio, modifying the spatial balance and volume to lead listeners to their target destination. First we report on an initial lab-based evaluation that demonstrated the approach’s efficacy: users were able to complete tasks within a reasonable time and their subjective feedback was positive. Encouraged by these results we constructed a handheld prototype. Here, we discuss this implementation and the results of field-trials. These indicate that even with a low-fidelity realisation of the concept, users can quite effectively navigate complicated routes.


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