This paper addresses the challenge of empathizing with audiovisual sense impairments, e.g. in the case of elderly people or people with special needs. The developed system aims at providing users with the experience of diminished sight and hearing. We designed a system that can simulate several disease patterns, focusing on but not limited to limitations experienced by older people.
The system incorporates real-time usage of visual and auditory filters on the user’s actual perception by combining two cameras with a head-mounted display for stereoscopic view and a pair of microphones with equalized headphones for spatial hearing. We tested the system informally with experts and non-expert users. They qualified it as useful for enhancing the empathy for audiovisual sense impairments, motivating a further development of this idea.