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Project Description: The HEAR - Haptic-Enabled Art Realisation research project proposes a technological platform that will allow blind and visually impaired people to physically 'feel' the visual information contained within 2D visual art. Aside from facilitating equity and access to the visual arts the ability to perceive and interact with the visual information contained within generic 2D images offers wider reaching benefits. The creation of this technological platform proposes a radical potential to revolutionise the available technologies for assisting people who are visually challenged. The realisation of this technological capability also offers the potential to introduce a new dimension to the communication media used within wider society. The project's researchers include Professor Saeid Nahavandi (Director of CISR) and Dr Ben Horan as the recipients of the ARC funding and Brisbane-based artist Paul Brown as a recipient of a Synapse Award from the Inter-Arts office of the Australia Council for the Arts. The team also includes Dr Shady Mohammed and postgraduate student Husaini Adam.
"We will initially be working with two-dimensional visual artworks" says Brown, "and we intend to create a system that will allow people who are blind and visually impaired to interact with and interpret artworks that would have previously been difficult or impossible for them to perceive". CISR director Saeid Nahavandi explains: "These unique interfaces enable a wide range of new interaction tools and technologies. This project will allow us to explore their application as enabling tools for people who cannot easily perceive visual phenomena. The techniques our project develops will also have applications for sighted people, for example, those working in low-vision environments like smoke-filled buildings and other high-risk situations." The project, HEAR - Haptic-Enabled Art Realisation, will initially run for three years from 2010 to 2012.
Project Members: Saeid Nahavandi, Paul Brown, Ben Horan, Shady Mohammad, Husaini Adam
Funding Sources: Australian Research Council Linkage Projects, Australia Council for the Arts