Blind given “views” of world famous sculptures through tactile VR experience
By Georgina Vincent on Thursday, March 29, 2018
A new virtual reality experience put on by The National Gallery of Prague is allowing some of the world’s most renowned sculptures to be experienced by those with visual impairment. The exhibit, named ‘Touching Masterpieces’, will include Michaelangelo’s David and the famous Nefertiti bust.
As opposed to the typical headset, visitors will be given a pair of gloves that use haptic technology to allow them to feel the sculptures through a virtual 3D world detected by vibrations. Geometry Prague and NeuroDigital have created the experience with the Leontinka Foundation, a visual impairment charity for children.
When interviewed, the executive director for the Leontinka Foundation, Barbara Huckova said “Blind children are usually taught in school with relief aids and tactile pictures that far from accurately reflect reality”.
The device used, the ‘avatar VR Glove’, aims to mitigate these issues by using the vibrations to stimulate different responses in nerves, offering an accurate 3D virtual object.
Huckova went on to say, “This new technology is an incredible breakthrough allowing pupils to touch what was absolutely unattainable before”.