Made in partnership with NeuroDigital, the Haptic-exhibition offers a once in a life-time experience for visually-impaired visitors
Art has become more accessible to the blind and the partially sighted through an innovative, immersive experience using specially adapted VR haptic glove technology.
The new art experience, created by Geometry Prague in collaboration with NeuroDigital, is unveiled at the Touching Masterpieces exhibition at the National Gallery of Prague, supported by the Czech Ministry of Culture. Three of the world’s most iconic sculptural masterpieces, the bust of Nefertiti, Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s David, have been transformed into virtual objects which people will “see” through haptic glove technology for the very first time.
The haptic gloves control realistic hands in virtual space. When the virtual hand touches a 3D object in the virtual world, the technology identifies the object and sends feedback in the form of vibrations. The Avatar VR glove has been customised specifically for this project by being enriched with multi-frequency technology able to stimulate different types of skin cells’ tactile responses – to provide the blind with the most accurate perception of the 3D virtual object.
"Blind children are usually taught in school with relief aids and tactile pictures that far from accurately reflect reality” explains Barbara Hucková, Executive Director of the Leontinka Foundation for the Blind, “This new technology is an incredible breakthrough allowing pupils to touch what was absolutely unattainable before”.
Said Geometry Prague’s Creative Director, Julia Dovlatova, “Through curiosity, pursuit of innovation and a passion for creativity, we realised that specially-adapted haptic technology could open doors to a unique art experience for the blind. Our collaboration with NeuroDigital has helped us fine tune haptic gloves to “see” art through virtual reality touch.”
NeuroDigital founder and CEO, Luis Castillo, added, “We founded our company to improve quality of life through disruptive technologies like virtual reality. So, far we’ve worked in aerospace, health and research. So, when Geometry came to us with an idea to democratise our most advanced tech, we went all in. We’re very proud that this latest development of VR haptic gloves is helping to bring art to the visually impaired with real-life applications.”
“Touching Masterpieces” has been created in collaboration with Geometry Prague, NeuroDigital and the Leontinka Foundation.