Interactive tactile audio guide for museum installations designed for people with sensory impairments

OVERTHEVIEW

Interactive tactile audio guide for museum installations designed for people with sensory impairments.

Contact

Gavino Paddeu, valorisation@crs4.it

Challenge

Solutions to improve the experience of a visit to a place of culture for people with sensory disabilities include audio guides and, in rare cases, tactile boards or copies of exhibits to enable tactile exploration for the blinds. These solutions are not integrated with each other and show some limitations as the audio guide is not suitable for hearing impaired people and tactile tables often require the mediation of a guide expert to be understood.

Overview

The interactive tactile audio guide OVERTHEVIEW, designed according to the principle of universal design, is dedicated to people with sensory disabilities and aims to combine the tactile experience with the sound experience, in a single application.
OVERTHEVIEW, using Natural Language Question-Answering algorithms, allows to interrupt the sequence of audiophonic messages giving the user the possibility to ask questions in natural language (written or pronounced) to obtain answers that satisfy one’s curiosity.
The visually impaired user approaches the work of art on display in a museum, equipped with the OVERTHEVIEW system, sitting at a desk equipped with video, keyboard and a specially designed tactile table. With the hands the user can touch the tactile table, which represents in 3D relief what is depicted in the work. The system by means of tactile sensors inserted in the table, recognizes which portion of it is touched and allows the audio guide to customize the content of the message based on the tactile exploration.

For deaf people a screen can also show the descriptive text while for deaf-mute people the virtual keyboard or a graphic interface allows the easy composition of questions.
In addition to figurative art (e.g. paintings), the interactive tactile audio guide can also be used to describe models representing archaeological sites or places to explore.

Innovative features

  • use of question-answering system inside museums;
  • usage of tactile perception tools.

Potential users

Museum operators and sensory impaired people.

Impact sectors

Tourism/Culture - exhibits - museums - cultural facilities.

Other resources

  1. Project Web site: http://overtheview.crs4.it/
  2. Release on github: https://github.com/padgav/audioguide
  3. Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-DO5otEuz4&t=22s

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