The National Gallery of Prague is using VR to introduce the blind to iconic sculptures.

The experience was created with help from Geometry Prague and NeuroDigital, in collaboration with the Leontinka Foundation for the blind and visually impaired, the virtual reality experience features haptic Avatar VR gloves, specially adapted for this campaign, that let the blind “touch” work like Michelangelo’s David, Venus de Milo and the bust of Nefertiti.

Three-dimensional models were modified from laser scans of the original masterpieces and a projection system enabled the 3D models to transform into a 2D “relief map”. This allows the audience to scan features of the surfaces without the need to trace the 3D object borders.

The “avatar VR glove” has been customised for the project with multi-frequency technology that is able to stimulate different types of skin cells’ tactile responses to provide the blind with the most accurate perception of the 3D virtual object as possible.

More info:

Touching Masterpieces – Haptics VR for the blind

Blind person discovering Venus the Milo for the first time

TEST: Touching Venus the Milo breast

Head of Nefertiti 3D model with AVATAR Haptic VR Gloves