WONDROUS GOGGLES: Designing with Technology for Empathy Building

Project dates: 01/07/2018 - Ongoing

Wondrous Googles is an Empathy Experience Device. It is specifically designed to facilitate an understanding of the navigational and spatial perception of people with visual impairment. Many of the environments that we encounter on a daily basis presents accessibility barriers, for physical access and for social inclusion. Examples of this situation are public buildings, entertainment venues, museums and galleries. Funded by QUT Design Lab, this research was conducted in a collaboration involving QUT Art Museum, and the Faculty of Creative Industries through the Vacation Research Experience (VREs) Program. The goal of the research was to develop Wondrous Goggles as a research tool to start exploring how to involve stakeholders in the creation of a culture of inclusion.

Wondrous Goggles is a lightweight head-mounted three-functionality device comprising: (i) audio stream, (ii) simulation of a visual impairment condition, and (ii) voice memo recording. During use Wondrous Goggle allows the wearer to embark on the navigation experience of someone with a visual impairment who has navigated the same space. As the wearer ‘walks in the shoes of someone’s experience’, the voice memo recording allows the person to record ideas, emotions, notes, that can be reviewed at a later time. The iterative process of feeling, sensing and reflecting, engages the wearer to create a new lived experience and this is conducive to the building of empathy. Unlike other technologies that create virtual reality or an augmented reality based on vision alone, Wondrous Goggles create a multisensorial empathic experience through the lived experience of a person with a visual impairment.

Ethics Approval # 1800000859 Creating a culture of inclusion in the work environment


Project milestones:

  • Phase 1 (2018 – 2019): Research and development of design requirements
  • Phase 2 (Dec 2018 – Feb 2019): Concept Design work and Prototyping with VREs students
  • Phase 3 (April 2019): Exhibition of prototype at Vis-ability Exhibition http://www.artmuseum.qut.edu.au/whats-on/2019/vis-ability.php (p34-43)

2018-2019 QUT VREs students

  • Mr Nicholas Sabulis (Industrial Design)
  • Mr Corey Tiney (Industrial Design)
  • Miss Katyusha Methanisa (Architecture)
  • Mr Salvatore Fazzio (IVD)

Prototype views A and B

Funding / Grants

  • QUT Design Lab Prototyping Seed Funding and VREs 2018

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

Dr Alexander Black, Faculty of Health, School of Optometry

Related Events