Project dates: 01/07/2018 - Ongoing
Why it matters
Many of the environments that we encounter on a daily basis present accessibility barriers, for physical access and for social inclusion. Examples of this situation are public buildings, entertainment venues, museums and galleries.
Wondrous Goggles is an Empathy Experience Device. It is specifically designed to facilitate an understanding of the navigational and spatial perception of people with visual impairment. It 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.
During use, the Wondrous Goggles provide a tool for the user to gain a sense of limited vision and provides a vehicle for the wearer to embark upon a process of feeling, sensing and reflecting while listening to the narration of someone who has navigated the space with low vision. Unlike other technologies that create virtual reality or an augmented reality based on vision alone, the Wondrous Goggles create a multisensorial empathic experience through the lived experience of a person with low vision. This project seeks to explore the design requirements for the development of a portable device that stakeholders can use to gain understanding of people’s lived experiences in order to create environments that are more inclusive.
The device has three functions:
- audio narration by someone who is blind or has vision loss, navigating a particular place
- simulation of a low vision condition
- voice memo recording allowing users to record ideas and reflections while navigating
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.
Ethics Approval # 1800000859 Creating a culture of inclusion in the work environment
- Rieger, Janice, Van Ooyen, Vanessa, Dionysius, Katherine, & Rafferty, Lisa (2019) Vis-ability: Artworks from the QUT Art Collection. [Composition]
- Vis-ability: Artwork from the QUT Art Collection exhibition wall text (plain text)
- 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)
Other Team Members
Dr Alexander Black, Faculty of Health, School of Optometry
2018-2019 QUT VREs students
- Mr Nicholas Sabulis (Industrial Design)
- Mr Corey Tiney (Industrial Design)
- Miss Katyusha Methanisa (Architecture)
- Mr Salvatore Fazzio (IVD)
Funding / Grants
QUT Design Lab Prototyping Seed Funding and VREs 2018