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INSIDE OUTSIDE

AR soundscape app for train travellers

INSIDE OUTSIDE is a binaural augmented aurality soundscape app for train travellers. By using their headphones, this site-specific smartphone app enables the passengers to listen to the sounds of the landscape through which they are passing.

TRAVEL BY LISTENING

In this day and age, the landscape as it is seen from inside a train is often nothing more than a fleeting, passing picture that we perceive in the corner of our eyes. This project‘s aim was to enable an opening of perception by the use of those very media which otherwise often isolate ourselves even more from our surroundings.

BINAURAL AUGMENTED REALITY

Via GPS-tracking and the current orientation of the smartphone, a binaural soundscape is provided for each passenger according to his or her seating position and the current point of view in realtime.

SOUNDSCAPE MAPPING

The project has been implemented alongside the trainroute of the „Berkaer Bahn“ between Weimar and Bad Berka in Thuringia (Germany). The Soundscape originates from hundreds of recordings that have been made in the corresponding region over an extended period.

AUGMENTING THE POD

Although travelers mostly regard their surroundings as a fleeting and detached image, the app makes the travel-pod open up. The landscape can be experienced as a dynamic habitat. Fragments of dialogues and narratives of the local inhabitants pass by and interweave into a composed net of conversations which correlates with an outer reality as well as with a subjective travel-perception.

LANDSCAPE STORYTELLING

Fields, forests, rivers, villages, industrial areas and the highway are crossed during the journey. By making the actual surroundings audible, INSIDE OUTSIDE offers a soundscape composition which is traversable from both sides and where the landscape which is passing by becomes the formative structure.

MOMENTARY NARRATIVES

Connections between the actually visible and the simultaneously hearable are generated for each traveller: Could this be the garden of the old lady, whose voice is being heard? Was the bike which was heard just now once cycling through that alley over there? The acoustic opening of the surroundings at the same time is a time capsule, that gives access to the past. Within the visible landscape, the traces of different layers of time become legible: those from the immediate sonic past – and those from the deeper layers, which are engraved in the collective memory of the inhabitants alongside the railway line.

INSIDE OUTSIDE was developed as a fully functional prototype.
It has been realized as my Thesis-Project at the Bauhaus-University Weimar and the Studio for Electroacoustic Music (SEAM) Weimar.

Concept:

Alexander Pospischil and Ludwig Berger

Implementation, Programming, Sounddesign:

Alexander Pospischil

Field Recording:

Alexander Pospischil and Ludwig Berger

UI Design:

Verena Kalser, Elisabeth Pichler, Alexander Pospischil

Kindly supported by:

TSL Products

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