As part of a Phase 2 SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation, Touch Graphics has developed a new technology for making museum exhibits more accessible for blind and low vision visitors. We created a touchable model of the Hall’s rockets, two actual artifacts from the US space program from the 1960’s: a Mercury spacecraft set on a Titan rocket booster, and a Gemini capsule set on an Atlas booster.
The model, set in a prominent position inside the museum, next to large windows with a view of the actual rockets, allows visitors to interact through a combination of listening, looking and touching. A device connected to the rockets sends information to a computer, which then plays back identifying audio information on the part that was touched.
Additionally, the exhibit provides historical overview information on the space program, and even includes an alphabetical index of the parts of the model, from which the user can select something of interest, and then have his or her hand coached to the place on the model where that part can be found.
Visit the Museum’s webpage about the rockets.