The Guardian Streetstories is the first of a number of apps that will be built using a tailored AppFurnace system. Working with Francesca Panetta we were able to develop a system that would mix and play layers of ambient sounds, speech and music according to particular rules. We created a system that allowed the audio production team to upload recordings, draw regions on a map and attach the audio files to those regions. Our system made sure that the resulting experience for users walking around the Kings Cross area was as Fran intended, a seamless mix of sounds and stories automatically triggered as you walk and unique to each individual.
By creating the system it meant that Fran could concentrate on the process of recording and curating the mix of stories and not have to worry about coding
“Working with AppFurnace to create the immersive sound-scape that is Guardian Streetstories has been just fantastic. We have been able to compose, lay out, test and refine over 70 original recordings to create this app within a couple of months.” Francesca Panetta, Guardian Special Projects Editor, Multimedia
It is always vital to test located apps in the real world location so that issues with GPS, connectivity and different hand sets are identified early on. Our system meant it was possible to test the app on the hand set as soon as the content was uploaded and before the final graphical user interface was complete.
The StreetStories user interface was designed by the Guardian. In order to ensure that the app worked without needing internet connectivity a custom map of the area was created. Because our AppFurnace system can render maps by fetching them from either the internet or from custom map tiles the design and creation of the map could happen in parallel to the audio production and testing cycle. We were then able to swap in the custom map as soon as it was ready without halting the audio production cycle.
By separating out the different aspects of the app and providing a system that was functional from the very start of the project we were able to meet the two month project time scale for the app. The Guardian system should now make it possible for the creative team to develop street story apps UK or even world wide.
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