Exploring the Gallery through Voice
Client: Cooper Hewitt
This collaboration with Cooper Hewitt and Alley Interactive sought to provide new points of access to the exhibition Tablescapes. Thanks to support from the Knight Foundation's Prototype fund on Arts and Technology, Alley, Cooper Hewitt, and PAC formed a team to build an Alexa skill. This voice-based way of interacting with Tablescapes is one more step in Cooper Hewitt's continuous exploration of using multiple modalities to surface their content. Remote visitors, including those who may not be able to visit the museum due to physical or geographic restrictions, are still able to explore the gallery, listen to information about each object, and receive detailed visual descriptions along the way. The use of visual descriptions as primary content for all users of the Alexa skill highlights the emergent benefits that can arise when embarking on a journey towards full inclusion. Though visual descriptions are usually authored for those who can't see the art, in this case, visual descriptions also served as primary content in a whole new way of interacting with the visitor.