TOOTEKO: A CASE STUDY OF AUGMENTED REALITY FOR AN ACCESSIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE. DIGITIZATION, 3D PRINTING AND SENSORS FOR AN AUDIO-TACTILE EXPERIENCE
Keywords: cultural heritage, documentation, prototiping, low-cost sensor, 3D modelling, augmented reality
Abstract. Tooteko is a smart ring that allows to navigate any 3D surface with your finger tips and get in return an audio content that is relevant in relation to the part of the surface you are touching in that moment.
Tooteko can be applied to any tactile surface, object or sheet. However, in a more specific domain, it wants to make traditional art venues accessible to the blind, while providing support to the reading of the work for all through the recovery of the tactile dimension in order to facilitate the experience of contact with art that is not only "under glass."
The system is made of three elements: a high-tech ring, a tactile surface tagged with NFC sensors, and an app for tablet or smartphone. The ring detects and reads the NFC tags and, thanks to the Tooteko app, communicates in wireless mode with the smart device. During the tactile navigation of the surface, when the finger reaches a hotspot, the ring identifies the NFC tag and activates, through the app, the audio track that is related to that specific hotspot. Thus a relevant audio content relates to each hotspot.
The production process of the tactile surfaces involves scanning, digitization of data and 3D printing. The first experiment was modelled on the facade of the church of San Michele in Isola, made by Mauro Codussi in the late fifteenth century, and which marks the beginning of the Renaissance in Venice.
Due to the absence of recent documentation on the church, the Correr Museum asked the Laboratorio di Fotogrammetria to provide it with the aim of setting up an exhibition about the order of the Camaldolesi, owners of the San Michele island and church. The Laboratorio has made the survey of the facade through laser scanning and UAV photogrammetry. The point clouds were the starting point for prototypation and 3D printing on different supports.
The idea of the integration between a 3D printed tactile surface and sensors was born as a final thesis project at the Postgraduate Mastercourse in Digital Architecture of the University of Venice (IUAV) in 2012. Now Tooteko is now a start up company based in Venice, Italy.