Following on from our first Innovation Lab, this is one of a set of four posts presenting the prototype concepts developed by our creative technologists in response to the day’s discussions and themes. Introducing: WetGenes and P H O N.
1. a unit of the perceived loudness of sounds.
When we arrived at the event, we weren’t sure what to expect or what was expected of us. One thing we did bring with us, apart from our humble peripherals, was the idea that we wanted to work with sound; how sound effects space, perceived sound, perceived space and how that affects us whilst immersed in them.
Our little group of 5, including us, waxed lyrical about our favourite spaces, what we do in them and why they are our preferred places to escape, work in, thrive in. While we all knew the specifics of our reasonings, there wasn’t a scientific method or proof of calculation to support these claims.
When we brought up the idea of recording the sound of a space of interest, lightbulbs appeared around the table. What if we could record the sound of the space we are currently in during when we are at our most contemplative? Could this measure the space occupied through echo of the ambiance and noise cancellation? Would we then find out, through a series of timelines, data analysed from recordings and emotion inputs, our preferred decibel? Would this tell us more about which space we actually feel most inspired in? Could we come up with a MyersBrigg Type Personality Indicator for sound? Can we surround ourselves with people of similar types for a more reflective environment? What happens when people of different personality types live together? What are the outcomes?
At this point, the group became most animated to the point where even the quietest of us suddenly showed her passion for the idea and even took lead in the discussion in privacy issues and data sharing. She was concerned that an app or a website can track her personal details, encroaching on her space, if you will and she would have to reveal more than she was comfortable with.
The rest of us were keen on tracking this intimate knowledge even to the point of relinquishing personal details to the cloud, as long it wasn’t shared with anyone else, via a login and simple security check but this did not interest the student from Lincoln. Instead, she was more interested in other people’s data! She wanted to be inspired or even, demotivated by how other people used their spaces sort of like an anonymous palette to start her day with. She was very much into tactile things, less digital things; more abstract, less confrontational and literal.
We compromised. There were discussions of mood rings and 3D printed stress balls that were rough or smooth depending on the data you provided. We settled on P H O N.
P H O N allows you to record a highlight of your day using sound capture via your laptop or smartphone.
The 8 seconds or so of recording allows you to also grab a video of your surrounding via the onboard camera of your smart devices, apply a filter or colour and include a tag for emotion, if you wish.
The latest phon recorded by anyone using the app greets you as you load it and you can favourite it or share it in your feed. Scroll further or swipe to show next, otherwise it loops the video and sound.
By using tags, you can filter phons through emotion, colour, decibels, filters and locations.
You don’t have a login but a randomised nickname for the device you use.
Each phon is anonymised and attributed to this nickname. You have the option of geotagging your phons so you don’t have to select this manually each time you record a sound.
A gallery of your phons is displayed alongside your day. Sound plays when you touch each phon and mutes when you touch it again so you can listen to the chorus of your day here.
P H O N records your entire day as visualisation. This means it does not record the sound that is captured via your phone but just the frequencies it detects. P H O N only starts recording sound when you capture video as well.
This allows for context when you give P H O N the highlighted recordings of your day and allows us to create imagery like so:
Highlights of your day superimposed on the visual representation of your day through sound.
When geotagged, the phons of people live on a map. From this, we can map out which parts of the city is loudest, makes people most happiest, when it is most used or the exact opposite of those things.