To touch

the Cultural Heritage

With our tactile devices can discover the cultural heritage with a touch of your fingertips


The Culture is

accessible for everyone

Hi-storia devices are designed
for blind users.
To listen the audio informations,
just touch the surface of the devices!

foto-giancarlo (7)

Cultural heritage
and new technologies

With “Hi-Storia didactic workshops”
students produce a tactile audio guide
of a monument in their city.
Will discover art, 3D printing and electronic prototyping.

in your school!

To touch the cultural heritage

Avec les dispositifs interactifs hi-Storia on peut connaître l’histoire des monuments


Tactile devices

Hi-Storia produce 3D models of historic buildings and art works, with a special technology that allows users to access multimedia content with the touch of a finger.


App for smartphones and PCs

Use the Hi-Storia devices with your smartphone or on a totem, select the language and explores the audio interactive content on the monument you are visiting.

Enhancement of cultural heritage

Hi-Storia uses new technologies to promote the world’s cultural heritage and involves cultural professionals, makers and schools in crowdsourced projects on the territory.


Hi-storia is an open source technology that allows schools to produce “tactile audio-guides”, devices that grant blind people to enjoy the architectural heritage. Students build devices with 3D printers and Arduino boards, and write and record the audiotracks.

Project description

The project started in Italy, a country characterized by a large cultural heritage “distributed” throughout the country. Most viewed national monuments have good facilities, but lots of the cultural venues is devoid even of some basic services, such as those for people with disabilities.
Hi-Storia makes the cultural heritage accessible to blind users through low cost tactile devices, and most importantly involving students of schools in the creation of the devices.
A tactile device consists in a 3d printed model that reproduces a monument o an art works; on the surface of model an electronic circuit with tactile (capacitive) sensors activate the audio content of the detail touched.
The tactile devices allow a simple and immediate use for blind and partially sighted persons, but can also be used by non-disabled visitors too, allowing a visit that involves everyone and facilitates socialization.
Hardware and software are released under an open-source license (GPLv3), and the production is distributed throughout the territory, assigned to fab labs and high schools.
During the workshop (called “Hi-Storia Labs), students design the device, study a monument in their city and write descriptive texts which explain the architecture, record audio tracks and work on 3D modeling and printing, electronic prototyping with Arduino and coding.
This crowdsourced model has several advantages: it’s scalable and reduces costs, it allows the transmission of technical skills in the school, and it’ is a way of teaching art history in an engaging and innovative way.
In addition, the open model also makes accessible the cultural heritage considered to be “minor”, located in disadvantaged territories or less attractive from a touristic point of view, despite the high historical and social value of this monuments.
From the didactic side, the project is structured as a Learning unit, which delivers transversal key competences as the communication in the mother tongue and communication in foreign languages; basic competences in science and technology; digital competence; social and civic competences; sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; cultural awareness and expression.
The economic sustainability of the project is given by the training courses that Hi-Storia aimed to teachers and institutions participating in the project.
The challenge of Hi-Storia is to make accessible most of the Italian cultural goods and contributes to the paradigm shift for educational robotics in Italy, to finalize it not only to transmit technical skills, but to solve real problems of the community too.

Impact so far

In the first year of implementation, the 2015-2016 school year, Hi-Storia was introduced in two high schools and one middle school in the Abruzzo region, involving about 100 students in 40 hours of lessons. The students have made 5 tactile audio-guides: 4 local historic buildings and the topography map of the National Park of Abruzzo.
In the school year 2016-2017 the project will be introduced in 60 classes, for a total of about 1,500 pupils, in schools located in Abruzzo, Lazio, Emilia Romagna, Molise, Puglia and Veneto, involving both small villages and large cities (Rome, Venice and Bologna). Also, with the call of Ministry of Education named “Atelier Digitali”, we have received reservations for 44 other schools, awaiting the results of the call.
Hi-Storia involves many makers in education activity into schools, and we have partnered with “Fablab Roma Makers”, “Fablab Bologna” and “Fablab Termoli”. Hi-Storia is involving various local branches of the “Ente Ciechi” Association: sections of Teramo, Chieti, Forlì.
Hi-Storia is activating partnership between schools and museums, to allow museums to host the tactile audio-guides. In the year 2016 we got a room in the Musei Civici di Giulianova (Civic Museums of Giulianova).

Potential impact of the project

Considering only on a national scale, the blind and partially sighted people in Italy are about 1,4milions; Hi-Storia, with its open and distributed implementation model, can reach the large majority of the target, allowing the visually impaired to have a better knowledge of art and history and improving their link with the territory.
In Italy there are more than 50,000 historical buildings (protected by MIBACT) and about 10,000 museums: the project helps especially the smaller venues, enhancing the economic surrounding the cultural tourism.
In Italy there are about 8000 high school (main target of project) and as many middle school (secondary target). Hi-Storia has a multidisciplinary approach and may involve classes with any type of curriculum, from the humanities schools to the industrial schools. The Hi-Storia workshops enhance the technological and digital competences, reducing the skills gap of graduating students.
The project creates employment opportunities, as outside experts in “Hi-Storia Labs” school laboratories, for makers, typhlology experts, art historians and archaeologists.
All this considerations can be made for each country in which to implement Hi-Storia project.

Device portfolio

Products and services

Tactile devices

The tactile device is an innovative tool for the enhancement of cultural heritage. It is a 3D printed reproduction of a monument; on the surface of the print they are placed capacitive sensors that activate the multimedia content with the touch of fingers.

Tactile devices provide a simple and immediate understanding of cultural heritage and are accessible to blind and partially sighted persons, but they are also usable to the visually impaired, allowing socialization between able-bodied and disabled.

Interactive maps

The interactive maps are made up of a board that reproduces the plan of a city, and 3D models representing the main monuments. The aim of the game is to place correctly the monuments on the map, following the clues offered from the mobile application.

The interactive map is an innovative device which will deliver cultural content in a simple and fun way. Ideal for children and students!

The modular devices

The modular devices are constituted by a series of architectural elements to be assembled; aim of the game is to correctly answer questions from time to time by placing a piece on the base, until the completion of the 3D model representing the historic building.

The modular devices are suitable for children and young people of school age, ideal for educational laboratories at school or in museum institutions.

Educational workshops

The hi-Storia team organizes educational workshops in schools and universities, designed to produce an interactive device of a local monument.

During the lessons, students design the device, write the descriptive texts of the monument, record audio tracks and work on 3D modeling and printing, electronic prototyping and coding.

Contact us

Use the contact form to request information or a quote, propose a collaboration, book an educational laboratory.




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