Saturday, February 18, 2017

Location-triggered audiobooks

Faubion, Kathy
Hinze, A. & Bainbridge, D. (2016). Location-triggered mobile access to a digital library of audio books using TIPPLE. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 17, 339-365.  doi:10.1007/s00799-015-0165-z
Descriptive Summary: Using location-aware software (Tipple), a person may be shown maps or historical information which relates to an audio book they have downloaded.  For example, some who has downloaded Jane Austen’s Persuasion would be given location and relevant information on the assembly rooms in Bath. This is known as literary tourism. Tipple is based on Tip (tourist information provider). As you are near a point of interest, the app (there are several which use Tip) chirps at you and you can then listen to the chapter in the book which correlates to the landmark. This study used the Greenstone Digital Library and text-to-speech features to access the MP3 audio books. You can tweak the settings to allow you to see a map with points of interest, or distance from where you are to points of interest, or finally points of interest listed in book order so you can literally follow the path of the story. 

Evaluation: Ever since my children explained Pokemon Go to me, I have been fascinated by the idea of a virtual world within real world locations. The idea of being able to travel to the real places within a story and listen to the parts of the book which take place there is genius. For example, traveling the path set out in The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and listening to the parts of the story that happen at each landmark would be the ultimate literary experience in my opinion. I am amazed at the complexity of the design in this study. It has to use several different platforms to achieve the marriage of location-based software and digital audio materials, and the diagram of all the programs in play is dizzying. However, the participants in the study were able to make somewhat successful use of Tipple. The authors conclude that there is still a lot of work to be done to make the experience seamless, however they are also already looking to add further augmented reality into the experience. I’m waiting for the experience when I can actually talk to a virtual Mr. Darcy.

Keywords: Audiobooks, Audio access, Location-based system, Mobile Digital Library

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