Exploring the Gallery through Voice

Client: Cooper Hewitt

Project Description

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.

If you'd like to read more, the folks at Alley wrote a great blog post about our kickoff meeting You can also read about all 12 funded projects..

Project Images

  • Sina and 2 other people sit around a group of 4 tables pushed together in meeting room. They look at white board where 3 other people stand reviewing post-its that cover the board. Laptops, notebooks, and coffee cups cover the surface of the tables.
    An Amazon Alexa project team meeting at the Cooper Hewitt
  • Sina stands with a group of 6 other people, all smiling and standing close together.
    The Cooper Hewitt and Alley Interactive team in The Senses exhibition