Dr.-Ing. Stephan Werner

Head of Group (acting)

Electronic Media Technology Group

Helmholtzbau, Room H 3520
+49 3677 69-1653



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Klein, Florian; Surdu, Tatiana; Aretz, Arthur; Birth, Kilian; Edelmann, Niklas; Seitelman, Florian; Ziener, Christian; Werner, Stephan; Sporer, Thomas
A dataset of measured spatial room impulse responses in different rooms including visualization. - In: AES Europe Spring 2022, (2022), S. 621-625

In this contribution, an open-source dataset of captured spatial room impulse responses (SRIRs) is presented. The data was collected in different enclosed spaces at the Technische Universität Ilmenau using an open self-build microphone array design following the spatial decomposition method (SDM) guidelines. The included rooms were selected based on their distinctive acoustical properties resulting from their general build and furnishing as required by their utility. Three different classes of spaces can be distinguished, including seminar rooms, offices, and classrooms. For each considered space different source-receiver positions were recorded, including 360? images for each condition. The dataset can be utilized for various augmented or virtual reality applications, using either a loudspeaker or headphone-based reproduction alongside the appropriate head-related transfer function sets. The complete database, including the measured impulse responses as well as the corresponding images, is publicly available.

Treybig, Lukas; Saini, Shivam; Werner, Stephan; Sloma, Ulrike; Peissig, Jürgen
Room acoustic analysis and BRIR matching based on room acoustic measurements. - In: AES International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality (AVAR 2022), (2022), S. 48-57

To achieve the goal of a perceptual fusion between the auralization of virtual audio objects in the room acoustics of a real listening room, an adequate adaptation of the virtual acoustics to the real room acoustics is necessary. The challenges are to describe the acoustics of different rooms by suitable parameters, to classify different rooms, and to evoke a similar auditory perception between acoustically similar rooms. An approach is presented to classify rooms based on measured BRIRs using statistical methods and to select best match BRIRs from the dataset to auralize audio objects in a new room. The results show that it is possible to separate rooms based on their room acoustic properties, that the separation also corresponds to a large extent to the perceptual distance between rooms, and that a selection of best match BRIRs is possible.

Klein, Florian; Surdu, Tatiana; Treybig, Lukas; Werner, Stephan; Aretz, Arthur; Birth, Kilian; Edelmann, Niklas; Seitelman, Florian; Ziener, Christian; Sporer, Thomas
Auditory room identification in a memory task. - In: AES International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality (AVAR 2022), (2022), S. 132-141

How we perceive and remember room acoustics is of particular interest in the domain of spatial audio. For the creation of virtual or augmented acoustic environments, a room acoustic impression needs to be created which matches the expectations of certain room classes or a specific room. These expectations are based on the auditory memory of the acoustic room impression. In this paper, we present an exploratory study to evaluate the ability of listeners to remember specific rooms. The task of the listeners was to detect the reference room in a modified ABX double-blind stimulus test which featured a pre-defined playback order and a fixed time schedule. Furthermore, we explored distraction effects by employing additional non-acoustic interferences. The results show a significant decrease of the auditory memory capacity within ten seconds, which is more pronounced when the listeners were distracted. However, the results suggest that auditory memory depends on what auditory cues are available.

Döring, Nicola; Mikhailova, Veronika; Brandenburg, Karlheinz; Broll, Wolfgang; Groß, Horst-Michael; Werner, Stephan; Raake, Alexander
Digital media in intergenerational communication: status quo and future scenarios for the grandparent-grandchild relationship. - In: Universal access in the information society, ISSN 1615-5297, Bd. 0 (2022), 0, insges. 16 S.

Communication technologies play an important role in maintaining the grandparent-grandchild (GP-GC) relationship. Based on Media Richness Theory, this study investigates the frequency of use (RQ1) and perceived quality (RQ2) of established media as well as the potential use of selected innovative media (RQ3) in GP-GC relationships with a particular focus on digital media. A cross-sectional online survey and vignette experiment were conducted in February 2021 among N = 286 university students in Germany (mean age 23 years, 57% female) who reported on the direct and mediated communication with their grandparents. In addition to face-to-face interactions, non-digital and digital established media (such as telephone, texting, video conferencing) and innovative digital media, namely augmented reality (AR)-based and social robot-based communication technologies, were covered. Face-to-face and phone communication occurred most frequently in GP-GC relationships: 85% of participants reported them taking place at least a few times per year (RQ1). Non-digital established media were associated with higher perceived communication quality than digital established media (RQ2). Innovative digital media received less favorable quality evaluations than established media. Participants expressed doubts regarding the technology competence of their grandparents, but still met innovative media with high expectations regarding improved communication quality (RQ3). Richer media, such as video conferencing or AR, do not automatically lead to better perceived communication quality, while leaner media, such as letters or text messages, can provide rich communication experiences. More research is needed to fully understand and systematically improve the utility, usability, and joy of use of different digital communication technologies employed in GP-GC relationships.

Döring, Nicola; Conde, Melisa; Brandenburg, Karlheinz; Broll, Wolfgang; Groß, Horst-Michael; Werner, Stephan; Raake, Alexander
Can communication technologies reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people? : a scoping review of reviews. - In: International journal of environmental research and public health, ISSN 1660-4601, Bd. 19 (2022), 18, 11310, S. 1-20

Background: Loneliness and social isolation in older age are considered major public health concerns and research on technology-based solutions is growing rapidly. This scoping review of reviews aims to summarize the communication technologies (CTs) (review question RQ1), theoretical frameworks (RQ2), study designs (RQ3), and positive effects of technology use (RQ4) present in the research field. Methods: A comprehensive multi-disciplinary, multi-database literature search was conducted. Identified reviews were analyzed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) framework. A total of N = 28 research reviews that cover 248 primary studies spanning 50 years were included. Results: The majority of the included reviews addressed general internet and computer use (82% each) (RQ1). Of the 28 reviews, only one (4%) worked with a theoretical framework (RQ2) and 26 (93%) covered primary studies with quantitative-experimental designs (RQ3). The positive effects of technology use were shown in 55% of the outcome measures for loneliness and 44% of the outcome measures for social isolation (RQ4). Conclusion: While research reviews show that CTs can reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people, causal evidence is limited and insights on innovative technologies such as augmented reality systems are scarce.

Döring, Nicola; Mikhailova, Veronika; Brandenburg, Karlheinz; Broll, Wolfgang; Groß, Horst-Michael; Werner, Stephan; Raake, Alexander
Saying "Hi" to grandma in nine different ways : established and innovative communication media in the grandparent-grandchild relationship. - In: Technology, Mind, and Behavior, ISSN 2689-0208, (2021), insges. 1 S.

Werner, Stephan; Klein, Florian; Neidhardt, Annika; Sloma, Ulrike; Schneiderwind, Christian; Brandenburg, Karlheinz
Creation of auditory augmented reality using a position-dynamic binaural synthesis system - technical components, psychoacoustic needs, and perceptual evaluation. - In: Applied Sciences, ISSN 2076-3417, Bd. 11 (2021), 3, 1150, insges. 20 S.

For a spatial audio reproduction in the context of augmented reality, a position-dynamic binaural synthesis system can be used to synthesize the ear signals for a moving listener. The goal is the fusion of the auditory perception of the virtual audio objects with the real listening environment. Such a system has several components, each of which help to enable a plausible auditory simulation. For each possible position of the listener in the room, a set of binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) congruent with the expected auditory environment is required to avoid room divergence effects. Adequate and efficient approaches are methods to synthesize new BRIRs using very few measurements of the listening room. The required spatial resolution of the BRIR positions can be estimated by spatial auditory perception thresholds. Retrieving and processing the tracking data of the listener’s head-pose and position as well as convolving BRIRs with an audio signal needs to be done in real-time. This contribution presents work done by the authors including several technical components of such a system in detail. It shows how the single components are affected by psychoacoustics. Furthermore, the paper also discusses the perceptive effect by means of listening tests demonstrating the appropriateness of the approaches.

Brandenburg, Karlheinz; Klein, Florian; Neidhardt, Annika; Sloma, Ulrike; Werner, Stephan
Creating auditory illusions with binaural technology. - In: The technology of binaural understanding, (2020), S. 623-663

It is pointed out that beyond reproducing the physically correct sound pressure at the eardrums, more effects play a significant role in the quality of the auditory illusion. In some cases, these can dominate perception and even overcome physical deviations. Perceptual effects like the room-divergence effect, additional visual influences, personalization, pose and position tracking as well as adaptation processes are discussed. These effects are described individually, and the interconnections between them are highlighted. With the results from experiments performed by the authors, the perceptual effects can be quantified. Furthermore, concepts are proposed to optimize reproduction systems with regard to those effects. One example could be a system that adapts to varying listening situations as well as individual listening habits, experience and preference.

Werner, Stephan; Klein, Florian; Müller, Clemens
Evaluation of spatial audio quality of the synthesis of binaural room impulse responses for new object positions. - In: 147th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2019, (2020), S. 972-981

The aim of auditory augmented reality is to create an auditory illusion combining virtual audio objects and scenarios with the perceived real acoustic surrounding. A suitable system like position-dynamic binaural synthesis is needed to minimize perceptual conflicts with the perceived real world. The needed binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) have to fit the acoustics of the listening room. One approach to minimize the large number of BRIRs for all source-receiver relations is the synthesis of BRIRs using only one measurement in the listening room. The focus of the paper is the evaluation of the spatial audio quality. In most conditions differences in direct-to-reverberant-energy ratio between a reference and the synthesis is below the just noticeable difference. Furthermore, small differences are found for perceived overall difference, distance, and direction perception. Perceived externalization is comparable to the usage of measured BRIRs. Challenges are detected to synthesize more further away sources from a source position that is more close to the listening positions.

Sloma, Ulrike; Klein, Florian; Werner, Stephan; Pappachan Kannookadan, Tyson
Synthesis of binaural room impulse responses for different listening positions considering the source directivity. - In: 147th Audio Engineering Society Convention 2019, (2020), S. 377-385