Audio Technology and Mobile Human Computer Interaction: From Space and Place, to Social Media, Music, Composition and Creation

Audio Technology and Mobile Human Computer Interaction: From Space and Place, to Social Media, Music, Composition and Creation

Alan Chamberlain (School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK), Mads Bødker (Department of IT Management, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark), Adrian Hazzard (School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK), David McGookin (Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland), David De Roure (Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK), Pip Willcox (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) and Konstantinos Papangelis (Computer Science and Software Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJMHCI.2017100103


Audio-based mobile technology is opening up a range of new interactive possibilities. This paper brings some of those possibilities to light by offering a range of perspectives based in this area. It is not only the technical systems that are developing, but novel approaches to the design and understanding of audio-based mobile systems are evolving to offer new perspectives on interaction and design and support such systems to be applied in areas, such as the humanities.
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2. Recording Sounds, Making Meanings

In ‘Acoustic Territories’ (2010), LaBelle makes a case for understanding sounds as part of a “charged spatiality” (xviii); a social and emotional topology implicated in the emergence of a sense (- and politics) of place. Sounds, LaBelle suggests, are never private, but must be understood as a relational force that somehow weaves a space together while at the same time ‘unhinging’ it in unforeseen ways by associations, forming personal memories and emotions but also networks of social connections, cultural meanings and so on. In this section, we suggest that in order to imagine and build mobile interactions around localized sound, we need methods to address the opportunities in this field and that are attentive to the possible emotional and subjective values inscribed in the consumption as well as production of localized sound.

As such it suggests that practices of sound recording on mobile devices (as well as the ensuing use of recorded sounds for the purposes of distributing, sharing or mapping) offers relatively untapped modes of engagement. Particularly as both urban and rural architectures, infrastructures and mobile digital medias are becoming intertwined to form meaning and experiences (under the general motifs of ubiquitous computing, Internet of Things, or ambient intelligence), we see a need for methods that can help in exploring some of the possible ways in which tangible places and ‘intangible’ content such as sound can interact. Beyond (or arguably before) any technical challenges associated with building accessible and easy to use systems to allow people to record and share sounds using a mobile device, comes the question what values such systems might fulfil or what purposes they might serve.

We suggest that autoethnographies can play a part in an effort to connect sound recording to mobile HCI. Specifically, we explore possible connections between digital media, space and ‘meaning making’, suggesting how autoethnographies (Bødker and Chamberlain, 2016) might help in discovering and articulating design opportunities in the merging of mobile digital devices and meaningful place making practices.

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