As part of our continued development, we wanted to investigate the role that NFC technology can play in providing accessible resources.
What we did
We worked with Nantwich Museum to look at how NFC tags could provide an audio experience of the museum and some of the exhibits, for those with a sight or print impairment. This involved creating ‘accessible art’; descriptions of displays and paintings that would be read out when the tag was tapped with a mobile phone.
We used tags to enhance exhibits; tap the tag to hear sound effects of a fire engine for example, or making a figure on display ‘come alive’ with speech. We also used tags to read aloud information displayed about the exhibits that would otherwise be difficult to access for a print or visually impaired individual.
The project involved close collaboration with key figures at the museum to help us describe and analyse pieces without imposing our own interpretation of them.
The tags are now installed and accompany 4 exhibits. We are able to monitor the interaction rates and are extremely encouraged by the positive feedback we are getting from users. The museum boasts a generous footfall; as well as being a free museum open to the general public, it is used widely by schools and local community groups on a daily basis.
We are excited by the potential that NFC poses, especially in this field. We will continue to work alongside Nantwich Museum to make more of their items accessible to all, as well as furthering our investigations into NFC, and its seemingly limitless possibilities.