Laurence Cliffe

intermedia arts | creative technology | research through design

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Audio Augmented Reality (Sound) Postcards

Audio Augmented Reality (Sound) Postcards

These postcards and their accompanying mobile app were developed in collaboration with sound artist and composer Aleks Kolkowski. This set of audio augmented reality postcards, in combination with their accompanying smartphone application, enable users to create an explorable virtual museum soundscape. Using the image recognition and tracking capabilities of Augmented Reality (AR), the postcards, when recognised by the smartphone’s camera, trigger sound recordings of the associated museum exhibits. These sound recordings are delivered to the listener binaurally, with six-degrees-of-freedom. This enables listeners to construct a virtual soundscape the perception of which changes in relation to their orientation and position in space, just as sound does in the physical world. In this way the sounds of the recorded exhibits are perceived to emanate from the postcards themselves amongst a backdrop of museum ambience, which includes a passing group of visiting school children, footsteps, chatter and the sound from the cafĂ© at the end of the gallery. This experience was developed during the global pandemic of 2021 to enable users to remotely immersive themselves within the soundscape of London’s Science Museum and populate their physicality with the sounds of exhibits from the museum’s permanent collection using the everyday printed cardboard postcards and a publicly downloadable and free mobile phone app.

The Android AR Sound Postcard Player app is available to download for free here.

A set of 4 postcards are available to download and print out here.