Walking is a natural rhythmic activity that has become of interest as a means of interacting with software systems such as computer games. Therefore, designing multimodal walking interactions calls for further examination. This exploratory study presents a system capable of different kinds of interactions based on varying the temporal characteristics of the output, using the sound of human walking as the input. The system either provides a direct synthesis of a walking sound based on the detected amplitude envelope of the user's footstep sounds, or provides a continuous synthetic walking sound as a stimulus for the walking human, either with a fixed tempo or a tempo adapting to the human gait. In a pilot experiment, the different interaction modes are studied with respect to their effect on the walking tempo and the experience of the subjects. The results tentatively outline different user profiles in interacting with such a system.
Am '12 Proceedings of the 7th Audio Mostly Conference: a Conference on Interaction With Sound, 2012