Investigating the Impacts of Teleconferencing in a Virtual Environment with Spatialized Audio

Supervisors: Denis Lalanne, Simon Ruffieux, Yong Joon Thoo, Sailin Zhong

Contact person: Simon Ruffieux

Student: Looking for a student

Project status: Open

Year: 2022

Teleconferencing systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, seeking to improve immersion, intelligibility, and sense of presence. Various opportunities exist to make conference calls more realistic, interactive, and immersive [1]. These include spatial audio, highlighting of current speakers, etc. In addition to spatialized audio, a recent trend is promoting virtual reality for teleconferencing. However few studies have investigated the impact of transitioning to a virtual environment.

In this work, the student will implement a simple virtual environment to simulate a conferencing setup involving multiple attendees and having similar functionalities as a “traditional” conferencing application (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom). The student will then design an experiment to compare two modalities (Zoom vs. VR) under the spatialized/binaural audio condition. The designed experiment will have to evaluate the user’s feeling of presence, engagement, productivity and effectiveness of information processing.

The future prototype could then be extended to better suit the needs of people with visual impairments who have reduced access to visual information and could benefit from binaural/spatialized audio.

[1] E. Aguilera, JO. J.. Lopez, and JE. R.. Cooperstock, "Spatial Audio for Audioconferencing in Mobile Devices: Investigating the Importance of Virtual Mobility and Private Communication and Optimizations," J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 332-341, (2016 May.). doi:

Keywords: hybrid meetings, teleconferencing, VR/AR, binaural/spatialized audio, (visually impaired).