RASPUTIN is a collaborative fundamental research project (PRCE) at the intersection of "digital sciences and technologies" and "psychology", that aims at reducing the cognitive complexity of navigation for the blind in a new interior environment through digital simulations and explorations using virtual reality with 3D audio. These explorations make it possible to mentally create cognitive maps of these environments not yet physically explored.
The main technical challenge of the project is to generate a realistic audio rendering of a building (auditory virtual environment) in real-time using, on the one hand, the spatialization library Spat~ and, on the other hand, the Evertims library for the simulation of acoustic propagation in a digital model that describes the architectural parameters of a building.
Three components are essential to the creation of realistic and interactive auditory virtual environments:
- the creation/editing of scenes (audio-visual);
- the quality and cost of the simulations performed;
- the management of interactions between the user and the elements of the scene.
To focus our efforts on acoustic simulation, we have articulated Evertims around existing scene graphs. The module now works in conjunction with Blender and/or Unity, the former serving as a scene editor, the latter as a graphical rendering and interaction engine.
The ability of the module to produce realistic auditory virtual environments will be tested through listening tests and objective comparison to a reference. The computer developments developed in this project can also be applied to different artistic fields using virtual reality techniques or for the prefiguration of sound installations, archaeological study, and cultural mediation.