Mentor: Manohar Swaminathan - Senior Researcher Microsoft, Prof. Selma Sabanovic - SICE, IUB.
Period: December 2016
Microsoft Research Project: Project Avare / Project Tokyo.
Conducted at: Microsoft Research Labs, Bangalore, India / Indiana University
During my internship at Microsoft Research, I conceptualized 'ReSAC' (Responsive Spatial Audio Cloud) - a technology for intuitively describing the world in spatial audio to visually impaired people. ReSac falls under Microsoft Research's AVARE (Augmented Virtual And Real Environments) projects that aim at empowering the visually impaired to experience rich multi-modal interactions in everyday activities ranging from work and social interactions to entertainment and exploration. ReSAC aids in a user’s iterative exploration of new environments by verbalizing details (objects, people, aesthetics) as a spatialized “cloud” of words and sounds. ReSAC was also conceived as a part of Microsoft's Project Tokyo - an initiative to empower blind athletes at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by improving their relationship with the community.
I developed the project further at Indiana University, with HCI masters students Chetan Bhatia and Mehul Agarwal, for an innovation challenge and conducted research studies with visually impaired people to test the audio environment that we called 'TeleFlaneur'. The video below showcases the pilot tests that we conducted at Indiana University after 2 weeks of design and development.