Virtual control rooms assisted by 3D sound
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A high amount of complex and urgent information needs timely attention in an operational environment. This requires specialized systems. These systems should provide immediate access to accurate and pertinent information when troubleshooting or controlling abnormal situations. This study is a collaboration between NTNU and Statoil Research Center. It aims at designing and developing a prototype to improve the operator's awareness of alarms, by means of a multi-modal virtual environment. This will be achieved by creating an extension to the virtual model SnøhvitSIM, using a spatial auditory display in addition to visual elements. The auditory display will provide (1) spatial information about new alarms and (2) information about the overall state of the facility. The system also offers (3) beacons to aid navigation within the virtual environment. To reach these goals, a comprehensive literature study was carried out, investigating similar concepts and various techniques for developing such systems. The development was prioritized in the following order, according to the main objectives: (1) design, (2) functionality and (3) architecture. Within the design-process, the main focus has been on the spatial auditory display. The development of the prototype proved successful. The feedback on the prototype reflects its value as a showcase for future development, containing new and potentially very effective solutions for tomorrow's alarm management systems.