Notes on Blindness VR

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Description of App

Arte Experience presents: Notes On Blindness, a virtual reality journey into a world beyond sight.

"A magical VR Experience" - Guardian

"Mesmerizing" - Motherboard - Vice

"Poetic and timeless" - Le Monde

In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, John Hull became totally blind.

To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. These original diary recordings form the basis of this six-part VR experience, an interactive non fiction using new forms of storytelling and gameplay mechanics to explore his cognitive and emotional experience of blindness.

Each chapter will address a memory, a moment and a specific location from John’s audio diary, using binaural audio and real time 3D animations to create a fully immersive experience in a ‘world beyond sight’.

Notes on Blindness VR is viewable with or without virtual reality headset (cardboard mode or smartphone mode).

Notes on Blindness VR is available in English, French and German.

Runs on iPhone 5 (or later) and Ipad 5 (or later). Requires iOS 9.3.4 or later versions.

For full user experience, please use headphones, raise the volume and increase the luminosity of your phone.

Notes On Blindness VR is produced by Ex Nihilo, ARTE France, and the French startup AudioGaming, in co-production with Archer’s Mark.
It has been supported by the TFI New Media Fund and Ford Foundation – JustFilms, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC) and Région Midi-Pyrénées.



Free or Paid


Apple Watch Support


iOS Version


Device(s) App Was Tested On


Accessibility Comments

If you need a new definition of ‘Irony’, I present you here an app that allows you to “explore [the] cognitive and emotional experience of blindness”, but is completely inaccessible to blind users.

The organizations listed as providing support for this app should be ashamed and asking for their money back.

Okay, by briefly disabling VoiceOver and tapping randomly on the screen a few times I was able to get some audio from this app, but turning VoiceOver back on at this point didn’t give me access to any of the controls or text which I am told accompanies the audio.

Shakes my head and walks away …

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads no page elements.

Button Labeling

No buttons are clearly labeled.


The app is totally inaccessible.


0 people have recommended this app



Submitted by Ian Hamilton on Sunday, October 30, 2016

The purpose of it is to try to give sighted people some sense of blindness by translating a world based on sound into an equivalent based on visuals.

So I wouldn't really say ironic, it's just not really relevant to a blind audience. You don't need to play some VR experience in order to get a feel for what being blind is like.