Our goal is to create a ground breaking user experience that enables users to touch and interact with digitally scanned museum artefacts and works of art which is also addressing the needs of our visitors who have sensory impairments. Working with Stoke On Trent based Touch & Discover Systems and a few of the world’s leading museums we have developed a console that provides a universal 3D interactive platform with innovative haptic technology; this will enable users to interact with high quality digital scans of objects that would never normally be touched because they are too fragile or protected in a showcase.
We’ve also worked collaboratively with students from Grange School, a local school for autism, and Project Inc., a specialist college for creative education, to create Digital Touch Replicas (DTR) for the museum’s Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition. Digital Touch Replicas are physical objects that can be explored by touch. Feeling different areas of the surface triggers hidden electronics, which in turn plays information relating to the area on a screen or tablet. Physical interaction with objects is particularly important for visitors with sensory impairments and for those who need to make physical connections with objects to make sense of them. This DTR technology, which aims to make museums more accessible, is based on research by Sam Beath, Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum, as part of a PHD at Loughborough University.