Stefania Serafin

Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark (bio)

The sound of walking


Walking sounds contain information regarding a person's gender, kind of footwear, and emotional intentions. They also provide information regarding the surface a person is stepping upon, together with the surrounding space. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the work performed by myself and my coworkers regarding the simulation of interactive footstep sounds in multimodal virtual environments. We created a physics based sound synthesis engine which is able to reproduce footstep sounds on several solid and aggregate surfaces. To control the engine, we designed several alternative input devices such as shoes augmented with sensors and floors augmented with microphones. I will present some of the experiments performed with the developed technology. The overall goal of such experiments is to understand the role of interactive auditory feedback in multimodal walking based tasks where sound plays an important role. The experiments are performed as part of the Natural Interactive Walking project (, which investigates possibilities for the synergy of perception and action in capturing and guiding human walking.