PING!

ProjectPING!

PING!

PING! is a multimodal, mobile concept for location based services, utilizing users' everyday abilities to locate sound sources and to use point and sweep gestures. With PING! you search for points of interest by pointing your Android or iPhone device, listen to audio feedback and read on-screen information. Through the same balanced mix of senses and abilities you get guidance to selected points of interest.

The aim is to create a unique tool for searching location based information and to get guidance to selected points of interest. The user is not forced to keep her eyes on a small mobile screen. Instead she can explore the environment and get information about it using her own mix of pointing gestures, sounds, graphics and text.

With PING! users search and get information while having the eyes more free compared to traditional tools. This in turn can help users to get enhanced experiences of cities and other environments. The PING! user interface is built on a  balanced mix of directional sound, point and sweep gestures and a traditional graphical user interface (GUI). The user gives input to the system through point and sweep gestures and through the GUI. The system gives feedback to the user through directional sound and the GUI. When you point the device you can actually hear in what direction and how far it is to a restaurant, a hotell, a sports arena etc.

Sound Examples

Sound for expressing distance in mobile guide apps

A sound source sounds different depending on your distance to it. The most obvious is perhaps that the closer to a sound source you are, the louder it will sound. If you are far away from a sound source, the sound reaching your ears will be a mix of sound coming straight from the source and sound that have bounced on surfaces like the ground, walls and ceilings. The sound reflected from such surfaces have traveled longer distances compared to the direct sound. The reflected sound will therefore be more or less delayed and the effect is reverberation or an echo. Finally, when a sound wave travelles through the atmosphere it will lose more energy in the higher frequencies than in the lower, the air functions as a low-pass filter. Therefore, sound from far away sources will sound duller and more attenuated compared to the same sound from a more close source.

These effects can be used when for example conveying information about geographic distances to users of mobile guide applications. 

Example 1:

In this example we used differences in the three acoustic parameters reverberation, low-pass filtering and pitch to convey information about the relative distances more far away and closer to users of a mobile guide application for a smartphone device. You can compare the two files and hear the difference.

Example 2:

In this example we used differences in the two acoustic parameters reverberation and low-pass filtering, keeping the pitch constant to convey information about the relative distances more far away and closer to users of a mobile guide application for a smartphone device.