How do people with vision impairments get the opportunity to appreciate masterpieces if they cannot see them, and they cannot touch them? Audio descriptions do a great deal to equip the imagination, but a recent project at the National Gallery of Prague gets hands-on with some of the gallery’s masterpieces to paint a clearer picture.
Billed as a virtual reality experience, the Touching Masterpieces project uses sensorial gloves to provide haptic feedback to vision-impaired participants as they glide their hands through mid-air, simulating the feeling of actually touching a sculptural masterpiece.
The gloves vibrate in different manners when the person touches a 3D object (in this case, a sculpture) in virtual space. Different vibrations and haptic feedback distinguish textures and shape, and either to the fingertips, palm or whole hand.
Visit the Touching Masterpieces website to learn more: http://www.touchingmasterpieces.com/