Monday, April 23, 2007


DISplace. [verb] cause (something) to move from its proper or usual place.


Not a Second Life project, but related in some ways to my SL work.

DISplace is proof of concept application which enables you to audibly record moments, events, or journeys associated with a particular place and time, then recall and interactively explore these fragments whilst at a different location, or perhaps the same setting at a different point in time? Additionally, you can construct imaginary and composite sound-scapes or musical structures which can be explored from a variety of audio perspectives in a nonlinear, non-timebased fashion.

Although DISplace will run on a desktop PC it was developed with mobile media devices in mind (PDAs, Pocket PCs, etc).

How it works.

Similar in some respects to 'Geotagging', DISplace allows for multiple audio-files to be imported and dropped at definable coordinates within a 2D space (referred to as moments). An Image file (eg. a map) can also be imported and layered as a background graphic for reference. The user's perspective (the listener) is additionally represented within the same 2D space, and the position of this can be controlled by the user, or via a definable walk-path (a journey). Volume and pan parameters for each sound-file are calculated based upon the relative -distance and -angle (respectively) between the Listener and each moment.

Applications and Scenarios.

1) By taking multiple audio-recordings from a variety of positions at and around the same location, rather than a single recording whilst moving from A to B, we have the ability to be able to re-construct the sound-ambience characteristics from a particular place, over a large area. In doing this we also provide the benefit of not only being able to recall a representation of a journey through this place from A to B, but also one from B to A. Furthermore, we could choose to dwell at any particular point for any period of time to explore sounds 'around us' which are of personal interest. Audio in this format is both dynamic and memory efficient.

2) DISplace'd audio through headphones could be employed whilst (re)visiting the same location from which the recordings were taken - albeit from an earlier point in history (eg. Notting Hill at non Carnival time) - thus providing an immersive, rich experience (true visual and false auditory) engineered to illustrate a particular scene.

3) By combining DISplace with live GPS data (not implemented) we could create interactive audio tours whereby spoken information, or music is trigged upon reaching predefined areas of interest. Here, rather than the commonly employed static terminal for all, each visitor could receive an audio experience which has been tailored to their preference and interest.

Demo Video.
Please note, the embedded video has been converted to mono, so important panning has been lost on the sound track, download the QT version in glorious Stereo - below.

(or download Quicktime movie here)