Location based podcast @ Drone (collab. with Det Ovale Rum)

“We were having sex all night, but in the morning we became two strangers who were supposed to have a conversation. About the apartment to buy, studies, and what not. Ideally, I would have had another round with her”.

Intrigued? This was a part of the invitation to the location based podcast experience at the nightclub, Drone in Copenhagen. Keep reading to know more.

The event

The event held at Drone a nightclub in Copenhagen was part of a yearly local culture event, 24 Dage Med Kultur. It was made possible with the support of many organisations and volunteers*. Det Ovale Rum created the content for the podcast. This company works with creating erotic podcasts, satirical podcasts, documentaries, etc. AWE took care of the technical aspects of the podcast (please read ‘The technical solution’ for more details). It was a chance to challenge ourselves by taking on a different kind of project.

We wanted to take on this project, as it was something we haven’t done before. In the past we at AWE have only worked with outdoor tracking, so we wanted to be able to provide technical solutions for indoor usage as well. We also wanted to show how beacons and a mobile app could be used in the entertainment industry. The overall goal was to create an immersive experience for the people who attended the event. It’s important to mention that a similar technology can be used for various museum, tourism experiences, sound installations, etc.

The location based podcast

Location based podcast - the app

The content of the podcast was created by Det Ovale Rum, but it was a fruit of collective labor. Det Ovale Rum gathered sound artists, designers, programmers and actors to merge the new technology and genre of erotic podcast. They created an experience titled, Sidste Stop – Immersiv Podcast (EN.: The Last Stop – Immersive Podcast), and they even brought in live actors to play different roles of the story. 

During the event of one night it was downloaded and enjoyed by 198 people. The location based podcast lasted for around 20 minutes, during which attendees could visit 12 zones (powered by 12 different beacons). As Drone had never previously hosted something similar to this event, they were very content partnering up. The event attendees have also given very positive feedback.

The technical solution

Each of the event participants had to download the app on their smartphone (iOS or Android). They also had to use a headset or earplugs and move around the nightclub. They heard different parts of the story as they moved around freely. 

To enable this we have developed a mobile app, which was created using the game engine tool, Unity. Below you can see a screengrab of the app on Google Play store and the app itself (on the right).

Location based podcast - app interface

We have also used Long Range Location Beacons made by Estimote. Beacons are essentially tiny, low power devices attached to walls or objects in the physical world.

Each beacon has a Bluetooth® Low Energy transmitter. It broadcasts tiny radio signals containing unique, location-specific data. Smartphones constantly scan for these signals. If they enter their range an associated app responds with the specific action. Personalized content is displayed as a notification or directly in the app. For this project we have used Long Range Location Beacons which are perfect for indoor location as they provide details on your distance to the beacons. We found that essential for creating the smooth adapting sound scapes. 

AWE Estimote

Whilst working on this project, we also worked hard to create the AWE Estimote plugin. We wanted to enable others to use the Estimote beacons in conjunction with Unity.

The plugin exposes sensor data off the beacons like distance in meters, temperature, light levels, air pressure and so on. All this data can be used in Unity to build whatever concept you fancy. It could be adapting game play of the current physical environment, e.g. a dark and cold crime scene. It would certainly help to convey the feel of the atmosphere realistically.  

Another use case could be a story driven experience where the visitors would be able to create their own storyline based on which beacons they have walked by. The Estimote beacons could also be attached to live actors which could alter the visitor’s audio experience. The possibilities are endless!

Key takeaways

  • Beacon technology is useful to create immersive podcasts and similar experiences
  • People were positive to the merge of location based audio and live actors
  • It was possible to have a lot of people in the same experience at the same time with the right positions of the beacons. 
  • Good content, story, as well as sound and music is vital for a good experience

If you want to try out the FREE AWE Estimote plug-in, you can download it by clicking the button below. 

awe-estimote-trial         DOWNLOAD TRIAL

If you would like to get the full version, you can do it following the link below.

awe-estimote-full          BUY PLUG-IN

*The event at Drone was part of the 24 Dage Med Kultur (24 Days With Culture) event in Nørrebro, and was made possible with the support of Snabslanten, Nørrebro Lokaludvalg (Nørrebro Local Committee) and Andrea – Studenterorganisation på DMJX Campus Øst (Andrea – Student Organisation of DMJX Campus East) and the Dansk Journalistforbund (Danish Union of Journalists), as well as countless volunteers.