3D Deafness Simulator

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Abstract

Hearing loss is a frequent problem in society. There are a number of causes that condition hearing loss in different age groups and have a negative impact on people’s daily lives. This thesis aims to raise awareness for hearing loss in the third age through a virtual reality simulator. For this, a basic understanding of hearing and the associated perceptual processes are given. Hearing loss associated with age, presbycusis, is described in several dimensions (physiological, social and its prevalence). Later, two auditory models, MAP and CASP and two software development kits (SDKs) - Resonance Audio and Oculus Audio - were analyzed, as well as two auditory simulators - Starkey and NIOSH - in which the simulator was inspired. Through the use of two softwares, Blender together with Unity, a virtual reality deafness simulator was developed aiming specifically to the hearing impairment in the elderly where the user is stading in a restaurant with noisy conditions with freedom of movement. Qualitative tests of the simulator were carried out through a questionnaire with questions that could be answered on the Likert scale. The results show a strong incentive regarding the use of virtual reality to approach the hearing loss for a specific age group as well as the understanding of the difficulties exhibited in noisy environments.

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Contact

Isabel Trancoso