Location based storytelling- a new audio app

I’m supposed to be making iPhone radio app tours but I haven’t made one yet. I’m definitely procrastinating. I’ve been putting my energy into the wrong things including researching how much it would cost to one them made using online iPhone app builders. 

I’ve also downloaded so many different types of iPhone app tours that my iPhone and brain is about to explode. This research makes me question whether I should even build an iPhone app tour at all.

Findings from testing millions of iPhone App Tours:

  • If they require the internet they can take a really long time to load
  • Using the internet can be expensive and annoying if your connection drops out
  • Using these types of apps drains the batteries quick smart
  • I like the iPhone tour apps that don’t need the internet to work. The only downside to these apps is, you have to navigate to each location yourself without the aid of good old GPS
  • I like that the apps that don’t require an internet connection because they can also be used by people who aren’t at the location (particularly useful if you want to use it as a portfolio piece to show people)
  • Does anyone even buy these apps?

Hackney Hear app

One app that bucks all of the above and really excites me is the: Hackney Hear app. 

Triggering audio via GPS-location, Hackney Hear provides an innovative way to explore and rediscover London Fields through the stories of residents, local celebrities and archive, along with new commissions from award-winning artists in the area.

Why I like the Hackney Hear app?

  • You don’t have to fiddle around with the app, you just go and the app should figure out where you are and play the relevant audio material. This removes a lot of the annoying features that I talked about above
  • It’s immersive and engaging
  • They've used sound creatively
  • It's not just another boring audio tour
  • Uses the smart phone and GPS technology to its full potential

You can have more of a listen below.

What other people are saying about the app

I completely agree with this comment by Chris Brookes that’s on their website:

Unfortunately, the art of location-based sound documentary has been ill-served by the prevalence of “cellphone tourism” type walking tours – many of which consist of simple unidimensional information delivery. I walked through Hackney Hear last May and it is unlike any cellphone walking tour I’ve experienced. It’s more like entering a feature and swimming in sound, the user moving through a layered audio experience with a geographically-influenced narrative and a multidimensional sound design that engages the listener on many levels. It’s hard to describe it; you have to experience it.

The Hackney Hear app is free to download. Go to their website if you want to try it out.

Has anyone tried it out in Hackney yet? Can you recommend any other cool audio app tours you've done?