Monday, January 18, 2010

iPhone Mobile Audio Guides Created on the Street

Last week I was sitting in a soft leather chair in the corner of the Eagle, Idaho Starbucks Coffee Shop. Not so unusual, but this time I was recording the event on my iPhone using a free application called This application is the result of an entrepreneurial project out of Barcelona, Spain.

This application enabled me to record an audio guides using the "Memo" function of the iPhone, associate a digital photo, capture the GPS coordinates and add a description and title. All of these individual functions exist already on the iPhone, but Woices brings them all together in one clever application and enables you to upload them to a centralized service so others can search and find your audio guide.

When I first opened Woices, it searched on my GPS coordinates for any pre-existing audio guides that were within a certain distance of my location. If they exist, it lists them. In my case, I was the first user in Eagle, Idaho. Woices can turn any storyteller, traveller or history buff into a mobile reporter. I love it!!

The next steps I would like to see are the following:

1) Democratize history - let every person with an experience in a specific location, record it using text, digital photography and audio formats with a GPS coordinate, date and time stamp. It can be first romances, first driving ticket, childhood home or something big like a forest fire you witnessed as a child.

2) Set up a function that will revolutionize newspaper reporting. Let every person be a reporter. They can review the recorded history, experience or event and report on it. These can be picked up by local newspapers and reported under the title of "citizen" reporters.

These features would be intended to merge personal experiences, personal history, social networking and geospatial data together to form a democratic form of history, perhaps a wiki-history and/or wiki-reporting.

Think about it for a moment. How many of us have known people that had volumes of history in their memory, but it was lost with their passing? I would love to walk through a historic neighborhood, and have stories, history and experiences popping up on my iPhone application list as I walked from block to block listening.

What are your thoughts? Where can you see these kinds of features and services being useful in business?

I can see the benefit in big construction projects where experts can share thoughts, recommendations, warnings and insight as they tour the project. These captured thoughts would be associated with audio files, text files, GPS coordinates and digital photos. These recordings could then be accessed by others on the project.

I look forward to your comments!

Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobility Consultant, Wireless Industry Analyst and Marketing Consultant
twitter: @krbenedict