by Jim Spadaccini, Founder October 22nd, 2020
At Ideum, one of our core goals has always been to make interactive technology more accessible to visitors in public spaces. For example, earlier this year, we published a white paper on ADA compliance for height and reach. And a few years back, we developed an assistive audio software layer that works with our touch tables and displays. Our strong interest in accessibility is why we were excited when the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian asked us to create a custom mount for a very interesting audio accessibility device.
The AudioNav from Storm Interface is an assistive USB device that uses audio to allow visitors to navigate through menus. Visitors use their own headphones and navigate by listening and making selections on the keypad. Users with impaired vision will clearly find it helpful, but the device’s tactile buttons mean that it can also assist visitors with impaired fine motor skills. In this prototype, the touch table application is a four-person multiuser educational game, with one of the four visitor stations offering enhanced accessibility with the Storm AudioNav.
We designed and developed a custom mount for the device and worked with the museum and the design firm to settle on the proper placement for the mount. (One or more of these devices can be placed anywhere on the perimeter of the surface of the touch table.) Fabricated from aluminum and layers of black acrylic, the mount is incredibly durable. This device was placed on a Platform II 65” touch table, but it could be placed on any of our touch tables. We’ve also developed other add-ons for our touch tables, including the recent Touchless Add-on for our Drafting II table and a “medical” scanner with fingertip sensors to track heart rate, skin temperature, and galvanic skin response for a custom exhibit for the XPRIZE Foundation.