Halfway through the trials – here’s our thoughts so far

1. Audio is awesome

 

Some favourite moments shared with us include a recording of a table tennis match that triggers as you pass, a chilling account of the gangs that ‘own’ London Fields and a short story told from the point of view of a park bench. What links all of the responses is that users love it when the audio contradicts what you see: when there are no tennis matches on the court. When the market is quiet and you can hear stalls being set up. What you can’t see is still as important to audio on location as it is in radio.

 

2. GPS is an inexact science

 

There are still a few problems detecting location. One minute you’re standing still on the path, where you think you are… then suddenly you’ve jumped twenty metres west. The upshot is that you leave an area and lose the speech you were listening to. Frustrating. Hey – we’re using SATELITES to trigger audio. This is the future. And our top men are on it.

 

3. Feedback good (but be patient)

 

I touched on this last week. Once the first couple of people come back with similar feedback, your impulse is to change the content immediately, before letting anyone else test it out. But if you do, then the subsequent feedback will be different. So you’re changing the app based on just 2-3 people’s say so; hardly a decent sample.

 

Better to wait. Gather the thoughts over the day. Then consider what prompted those responses. We’ll be publishing our feedback at the end of the prototype phase so that others can create their own locative experiences. Stay tuned – and become a Friend of the Hackney Podcast if you want to come try it at the Alpha-ville Festival.

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