The Eclipse Soundscapes Project app is specially designed so that people who are blind and visually impaired can share in the awe and wonder of astronomical events in real time with their sighted peers.
The app is a joint effort between The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), NASA’s Heliophysics Education Consortium (HEC), the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), and the National Park Service (NPS). Features include an interactive “Rumble map”; audio descriptions of key features of the eclipse; a play-by-play description of the total solar eclipse as it is happening in the user’s area; and a countdown clock to the next upcoming eclipse.
The “Rumble Map” gives the user the sensation of “feeling” the Sun during an eclipse. Our technology translates images of key eclipse features into a series of unique frequency modulated tones that map out variations in light and dark as the user explores the image with their fingertips. These tones are specially designed to make the user’s mobile device shake, or rumble, in response to the changes.
After the eclipse, the Eclipse Soundscapes app will provide access to a database of soundscape recordings from U.S. National Parks and other urban and rural locations so that users can experience how eclipses change the behavior of different species, including humans. During the next five years, the app will expand to include other eclipses and astronomical objects of interest giving people who are blind and visually impaired – and everyone else – a new way to engage with the universe around them.
Updates to the Eclipse Features.
Ratings and Reviews
Recapturing childhood fascinations
I didn't even care or notice about the eclipse that's going to happen on 21 August and then a friend of mine mentioned this application on the Facebook…
I figured well? Why not give it a try? And I've played with it for a little bit and this is the coolest thing I've seen in a while! I recommended it to my friends even though all of them have normal eyesight… I'm actually excited now and plan to go and see what there is to see on Monday
I like reading the descriptions of things and the rumble map is really neat… I can see a very small bit and the rumble map and descriptions have brought this whole eclipse thing to my level it really is cool and it makes me feel like a kid again because when I was younger I was absolutely bonkers for the solar system and outerspace
First of all, the concept and design of this app are overwhelmingly outstanding. It was thoughtful, and the descriptions are beautiful and detailed. I got my notification at the start of eclipse, and heard the first message, but either something malfunctioned then or I didn't understand what it was telling me. No rumble map came up at any point, besides the ones that came stock under the tab that previously existed. Even without a map of what was currently happening it was a great boost to the experience for me. I can only hope this is here for us again in the future.
Amazing and informative
I've always been curious about astronomy and meteorology. I experienced the audio descriptions during totality and very much appreciated them. I'm looking forward to future ezplorations! I think my favorite rumble-map feature is the diamond ring. :-D Thanks so much for this project!
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.