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A commissioned prototype for Cooper Hewitt Interaction Lab’s Activating Smithsonian Access.

Zhizhen (Jerry) Tan  Project Lead, Designer; Thomas Tajo: Echolocation Advisor; John Roach: Advisor, Sound Designer; Eraince Wang: Designer, Developer; Lan Zhang: Designer, Developer; Benny Zhang: 3D Artist

Project Link:

Art Echo is a web-based virtual reality experience that reveals the acoustic attributes of 3D objects in the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections while moving through periods of the history of Earth and some of its inhabitants. In this virtual gallery people can experience the objects and their stories through imagery, sound, and simulated echolocation based on the teachings of Thomas Tajo, a blind echolocation user and teacher.

About the Open Access Challenge:
The Activating Smithsonian Open Access Challenge (ASOA) from Cooper Hewitt’s Interaction Lab supported creative technology teams in designing engaging interactive experiences with Smithsonian Open Access collections for people all over the globe. Made possible by Verizon 5G Labs, this open call for proposals sought to stimulate new ideas for inspiring digital interactions with over 3 million 2D and 3D objects in the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections, all available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license for download, re-use, alteration, and even commercialization.

From these proposals, seven finalists were selected to receive $10,000 to develop their ideas into functioning prototypes to be presented and used by the public, while creators will own all intellectual property they create in ASOA.

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