Archeologia e Calcolatori Archeologia e Calcolatori
National Research Council Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico
Dipartimento Scienze Umane e Sociali, Patrimonio Culturale

Journal established by: Mauro Cristofani and Riccardo Francovich
Editor: Paola Moscati

Authors De Felice, F. - Renna, F. - Attolico, C. - Distante, A. -
Title Omero: a multimodal system that improves access to Cultural Heritage by visually impaired people
Volume Archeologia e Calcolatori supplemento 1 - 2007
In Moscati P. (ed.), Virtual Museums and Archaeology
Pages pp. 243-253
Publisher Edizioni All'Insegna del Giglio
Subject Computer Graphics IP CAD
Subject Data dissemination and education
Abstract The paper describes a multimodal application, based on haptic/acoustic/visual interaction. A system of this kind offers two very interesting possibilities: it can be used to permit access and comprehension of cultural heritage by visually impaired people, for whom touch and hearing represent the main channels for interaction with the real world and it can also enhance the experience of cultural heritage by sighted people, making it possible to use the sense of touch, which is often forbidden in museum situations. The system not only allows the experience of touching objects which, on account of their location, dimensions, and vulnerability cannot be offered for direct haptic contact, but, in addition, it makes it possible to experience a much more flexible and powerful interaction in complex situations. In fact, virtual models can change in a very dynamic and flexible way to match the needs of the specific user and to help his/her exploration and cognitive process. The system moves the haptic experience into the virtual world where the digital potentials can be used to make communication of the cultural content of each object more effective. Multimodal interaction allows visually impaired people to access cultural heritage involving large spatial information content. The system makes it possible to interact with haptic/acoustic active objects and to select the information that must be shown on the basis of user requirements. Several tests, involving people with different types and levels of visual disabilities, were conducted. They showed that haptic/acoustic interaction and modular representation of information really do help blind people to cope with the serious and challenging task of acquiring and managing spatial data.
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