Various barriers prevent blind and visually impaired people accessing the rich multisensory experiences available at heritage centres. These barriers include large bodies of text and items in glass cases, which are difficult to see. Feedback from the blind community reflects poorly upon the inflexibility of guided tours. Technology-based accessibility tools are often laden with visually heavy interfaces or require storage space or power at each exhibit. This paper presents a low-cost digital audio guide that can be combined with existing 2D and 3D systems, as well as 3D printed reliefs and replicas. The technology aims to work in a variety of environments, allowing curators to retrofit it into centres with limited space. The handheld system provides pre-recorded audio to visitors as they explore the centre. Sound is triggered via ‘tap’ onto Near-Field Communication (NFC) tags, which are placed by the curator or artist. Content is updated via a central system, which replicates to each device. A storytelling process can be created through the addition of motion gestures (e.g. shake), enhancing the experience for all visitors.


PlayShell: A Low-cost, fun Audio Experience for Heritage Centres
Posters/Demos I

September 15, 2020
17:00 - 18:30