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Augmented Reality for the Visually Impaired – Sensory Augmentation


   PhD Opportunities

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Computing and Audio Research Lab at the University of Sydney, Australia has a fully funded PhD position open in augmented reality for the visually impaired, in partnership with ARIA LLC.

Applicants with a strong background in psychoacoustics and audio signal processing and computer science or similar programs are encouraged to apply.

We take a broad view of auditory sensory augmentation as comprised of three parts:

  1. sensors and machine artificial intelligence extract information for a targeted objective;
  2. this information is rendered via the auditory channel as sound;
  3. we enable efferent feedback control via hand/wrist or other sensors.

Experiments are run using motion capture and the latest AR/VR/XR equipment. The challenges are to convey navigation, social, or symbolic information via the auditory channel in perceptually consistent and meaningful ways.

There are multiple Postdoctoral and PhD roles open as part of Project ARIA, all postings will be available at https://ariaresearch.com.au. This sensory augmentation project will advance the sensory augmentation paradigms required for the ARIA wearable device to perform reliably and efficiently in a breadth of usage scenarios.

The project's aims include:

  • Establishing a psychoacoustic simulation environment to support rapid development and evaluation of novel auditory sensory augmentation paradigms,
  • Adapting computational imaging technologies to propose novel methods for auditory sensory augmentation,
  • Characterising and calibrating auditory sensory augmentation paradigms via simulation, controlled lab experiments, and user trials,
  • Developing auditory sensory augmentation algorithms to best make use of incoming machine vision sensor information, and
  • Supporting development of the high-level sensory augmentation algorithms and the full sensory augmentation pipeline.

The Research Environment:

Embedded in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering, the Computing and Audio Research Lab (CARLab) is focused on auditory sensory augmentation, machine hearing, and morphoacoustics (morphoacoustics.org). We employ audio signal processing and machine learning techniques to develop new concepts and understandings that will provide new technologies for auditory sensory augmentation and machine hearing.

CARLab offers specialised acoustic facilities (anechoic chambers, semi-anechoic chamber, loudspeaker arrays, linear and spherical microphone arrays, AR/VR/XR platforms). You will have access to mechanical and electronics workshops and a pool of technical staff to help realise your research ambitions. You will also have the opportunity to work closely with Project ARIA’s engineers and make use of their extensive development and testing facilities. The University of Sydney offers a rich academic setting in a world-class city, and CARLab has strong ties to a network of nearby and international academic and industrial collaborators.

About you:

Successful candidates will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline
  • Interest in developing novel auditory sensory augmentation systems and working with AR/VR/XR simulation environments
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience with one or more of psychoacoustics, computer science, software engineering, audio signal processing, sound design and engineering
  • Hands-on experience with Python, Matlab, C++, and one or more video game simulation environments would be an asset

Further details and instructions on how to apply are at https://www.sydney.edu.au/engineering/study/postgraduate-research.html


Funding Notes

The PhD stipend is $35k AUD/year. You may be given he opportunity to engage with additional paid teaching activities. Two positions are available.

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