Digital Experiences for Blind Audiences

Picture Of ArtEcho Echolocation ProjectThe Smithsonian Museum created an Open Access Challenge to help users explore online museum collections from the Smithsonian's Open Access collections. Seven teams were commissioned; the winning team included a group of Parsons Design and Technology alumni. The team, led by Zhizhen (Jerry) Tan, created ArtEcho, which will provide broader access for blind echolocation users to perceive the Smithsonian and other museums' 3D objects directly through sounds.

"I was inspired to create audio-based digital experiences primarily for sightless audiences' direct perception, and the Smithsonian challenge gave me a chance to interpret how a digital museum experience might enable people to interact with objects beyond just sight," explains Tan. "ArtEcho is a web-based virtual reality museum that allows you to perceive museum objects from Smithsonian 3D digitization library and their stories through imagery, sound, verbal narration, and simulated echolocation based on the teachings of Thomas Tajo."

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"Parsons Design and Technology Alumni Win the 2021 Smithsonian Open Access Challenge"

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