New 3D Haptic Touch Platform, Probos, Supports Gallezeum’s Engaging Experience

The Jodi Awards 2017, Commendation Winners Touch And Discover Systems Ltd from Stoke-On-Trent has been developing the Probos Sensory Console and Gallezeum application since 2010.

Our goal is to use haptic technology to create a ground breaking experience that encourages users to touch digitally scanned museum artefacts. As you explore the very realistic object you’ll uncover hidden information and when tapped, hear the sound the real object would make.

We collaborated with Manchester Museum and Henshaw’s Society for Blind People to develop a more inclusive and natural way to experience museum and gallery collections and also to support learning for all ages through immersive play.

Touching is part of cognitive development so all kinds of interactive content can be designed and developed for it.

All content created will be added to Gallezeum’s catalogue online which can be accessed by other Probos units around the world; this creates a more sustainable virtual loan and sharing resource.

The Gallezeum Collection already holds 8 digitised objects from Manchester, Yale, The British Museum and The Belvedere, Vienna.

The digitally secure Probos Sensory Console offers a new 3D platform specially designed for museums, galleries, schools, libraries, exhibitions and other visitor attractions.      @TADSystems

Why the contribution is important

Since the late 90's there has been a decline in the importance of craft and making skills in favour of computers. Museums are full of objects which cannot be touched for very good reasons. Haptic technology has been around since 2000 which can provide a good solution to fill a real gap between visual content online and rapid prototyped replicas.

This 3D solution creates immersive tactile engagement, self-directed engagement and supported by museum curator supplied information which forms the basis of a 'conversation with the object'.

The touch experience is a simple connection which once experienced and understood is a usable interface. Touch in this case can be described as a meeting of two processors, one binary computer data with a single handle and the other a highly sophisticated brain with ten fingers and two arms. Yet we are able to use the sensitive force feedback information to digest a credible understanding of the real original object protected in the museum case.

This idea is good because it covers many sector strategic targets; it is more inclusive, more accessible for people with disabilities or remote locations, it offers digitisation, income generation from royalties and sponsorship, international platform, and job creation. 

by christopherdean on July 07, 2017 at 04:52PM

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Average score : 5.0
Based on : 2 votes


  • Posted by willpsaunders July 10, 2017 at 11:00

    This is a really interesting case study. Do you happen to have any examples of where this technology has been used in environments other than museums? Can it be used virtually? Any libraries engaged or any environments where other audiences might be able to experience it?
  • Posted by willpsaunders July 10, 2017 at 11:00

    This is a really interesting case study. Do you happen to have any examples of where this technology has been used in environments other than museums? Can it be used virtually? Any libraries engaged or any environments where other audiences might be able to experience it?
  • Posted by christopherdean July 10, 2017 at 16:03

    HI Willpsaunders,
    The research and development project has been at Manchester Museum for over several years, with a system on the public gallery since 2014. There has been a portable system that has been used in hospitals, libraries, special arts and craft centres, care homes for blind veterans and schools, with one specializing in Autism. It cant be used in any other way than with the console at the moment. future systems can be developed to have VR headsets as an option. The system has been designed to be very easy to use and support by the host museum, visitors just pick up the handle to startand perhaps put on the headphones. Its helpful to have a member f staff to facilitate it as it is a new experience. A visitor session is longer than for other interactives as it is immersive and is a physical connection happening in real time. We are a start up company who is now looking for opportunities to scale up with all kinds of projects and content creation. Please see
  • Posted by willpsaunders July 10, 2017 at 16:51

    Thanks so muc h for the additional information. Do let me know how you think this opportunity might scale and where you would want to take it next?
  • Posted by christopherdean July 10, 2017 at 23:36

    Thanks Willpsaunders, I am at that point where I need to begin to scale up. Priorities to develop a cost effective console manufacture through sustainable product development and efficient manufacturing intially. The second to further develop the publishing framework for content to an international audience. This can be enhanced through the introduction of more haptic and sensory functionality. Thirdly to develop the scientific technological and cultural learning provision through developing fundamental core learning through Tactile game play. This can be replicated in other languages so plenty to do but not impossible if there is an understanding how beneficial this solution can be. There is a gap which can be explored and filled effectively for many academic and commercial dricers. There are many social areas that also can be explored especially tactile connections in care and therapy scenarios, we have seen how strongly it can work with children with autism.
  • Posted by christopherdean August 02, 2017 at 22:27

    It can be said that a museum visit has little tactile engagement with their collections for good reasons. Some museums are actively trying to make their attraction more engaging by using all kinds of ways to interact with people as they move through the galleries. This is the cultural norm, we are taught to not venture where we are not encouraged to goal so for good reason. But imagine if we could benefit from touching things in 3D, what if touching things encouraged you to find out more about it. When we are young this is a natural curiosity when you are older this is reassuring and comforting. Not every visit can have a curator, historian or Conservator on hand ready to explain everything to you as you view the collection.If you could ask them questions what would they be? But imagine if you could choose an object and turn it over, touching the form all over and tapping it to hear what material it is made of, you would have a different experience, a more individual experience, a more immersive experience. If when you are doing this you can hear or discover information about it from the curator then you will be engaged and deep in curiosity. Digital systems can now do this. The innovative Probos Sensory Console has been developed to provide this digitally engaging and more inclusive experience. This can be used inside the museum or outside in remote communities, schools and libraries. Digital technology liberates collections and makes them accessible to everyone including the elderly.
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