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System for making art accessible for low vision or blind persons. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000184444D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jun-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jun-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 37K

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This publication defines a way for a person with low and no vision to experience art. It utilizes sound, temperature, and a virtual glove to enhance the user experience with a 3D virtual interpretation of the painting.

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System for making art accessible for low vision or blind persons .


In order for a low vision or blind person to experience a piece of art, he or she must rely on someone else's description of the painting to have a sense of what he or she cannot see. Audio tours are available in most museums to provide additional information about a painting. This information often gives details about: the artist, historical information from when the piece was created, techniques the artist used, details of images in the painting, and why the piece is considered to be so significant. Some art museums offer special tours for low vision or blind visitors that provide more descriptive explanations of the art work.

When a sighted person views a painting, he or she can see: the colors the artist used, the size of the canvas, how the artist applied the paint, the use of light and shadow, and the subject of the painting. All of these impact the way a person experiences a piece of art, but can be difficult to describe with only words.

NTT Comware has developed the "Tangible 3D" Glove. This glove allows a wearer to "feel" 3D images. These gloves will most likely be picked up by the gaming industry. According to one announcement, they may also be seen in museums. As is, the glove would allow a blind or low vision person to feel or touch a sculpture. However, simply feeling a 3D image of a painting is not enough to fully appreciate a painting.

A "Tangible 3D" glove could allow a blind person to "feel" the size of the canvas and how the artist applied the paint. It does not provide any information about the colors, light, or shadows. If a person is "feeling" the Mona Lisa painting, the "Tangible 3D" glove does not tell the person "You are touching her face" or "Your right index finger is on her lips". It will be difficult to get an understanding of the painting without some context of what images in the painting the person is "feeling".


This idea incorporates multiple devices and products to enhance how a low vision or blind person experiences a painting:

An audio device provides: title, artist, and other traditional audio tour information about the painting.

The person uses a glove such as the "Tangible 3D" to touch a 3D digital model of the painting.

If the person wearing the glove taps on a region of the 3D painting, any stored information tied to the point they are touching is played. If the painting contains multiple figures and they tap a finger that is "touching" a dog, the wearer might hear "a brown cocker spaniel dog". If a person taps on a painting that is a portrait, they may hear object information such as: "hand", "lips", "mustache", "hat".

If the person taps on the same point again, more detailed information can be retrieved, such as: "women's red hat with white feathers"

To give the person a sense of color, musical notes are played that change as the glove moves from one color to anoth...