In 2016, Francesca Panetta got interested in virtual worlds. Sound has always had the potential to immerse, but VR took it to a new level. Working at the Guardian, Francesca launched and ran the VR studio funded by Google to make 12 pieces exploring the potential of the new medium. Lucy Greenwell directed one of the most poetic, Songbird.
SONIC AUGMENTED REALITY
In 2010 we led the way in augmented reality. We created a series of bespoke sonic AR apps that triggered sound by knowing where you are. As you walked the streets, your footsteps lead you to stories, interviews, features, archive, poetry - all placed on specific map points so that as you walk down a street, or enter a park, you’ll hear audio especially curated and designed to be heard in that exact place. These are totally immersive sonic adventures, that peel back the layers of history in a specific location.
The Diamond Street App is a freely downloadable GPS activated rich media digital app for smartphones and tablets, which takes readers on a journey through the historic jewellery quarter of Hatton Garden and the stories in Rachel's Lichtenstein's recent book Diamond Street: the hidden world of Hatton Garden. Guided by Rachel, along with a host of other characters, the secrets of the streets around the Hatton Garden area are be revealed to users as they wander around the area, listening and exploring.
This first of its kind digital project, uses content from the book Diamond Street along with specially developed rich media, soundscapes and interactive features, enabling readers to go on either a virtual (armchair version) or a real guided tour around the Hatton Garden area.
"Witchcraft in your pocket. " - Matt Brown, The Londonist, 6th June 2013
Click here to download for free.
Built for the National Trust, Soho Stories brings 60 years of Bohemian Soho vividly to life in this audio tour, narrated by veteran Soho entertainer Barry Cryer.
All the important landmarks are included -- Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, Foyles Bookshop, the Windmill Theatre, Carnaby Street -- alongside recollections of the past from locals like Frankie Fraser (talking about criminal gangs) and Barry Miles (speaking on the beginning of teenage culture). The histories, and poems, give a warts-and-all overview of the area -- including its infamous sex industry.
"As you walk around, the recordings fade in and out -- the sensation, if you're walking fast enough, is much more fluid than that of a stuffy museum audio tour." Wired, June 2012
On October 29th 2012, the superstorm hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, USA. The storm that had started in the Caribbean sea was to be the second most deadliest hurricane in US history, second only to hurricane Katrina. At least 233 people lost their lives throughout the course of the storm, 34 of which were from New Jersey, close to the Boardwalk.
As well as the tragic loss of life, hurricane Sandy caused over two million households in the state to loose power and 346,000 homes were left damaged or destroyed when storm surge and flooding hit.
Boardwalk Stories from Sandy is a walking tour app. Produced by Benjamen Walker and Francesca Panetta, it uses GPS-based technology to bring you stories of people who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.
More details here.
Kings Cross Street Stories
Did you know a poet campaigned to save St Pancras station in the 1960s? And that a bear escaped from the zoo to roam King's Cross in 1906?
To coincide with the Guardian's open weekend at Kings Place, Streetstories launched as a free app for iPhone and Android .
The Guardian newspaper is based Kings Cross but it was also home to other big names: Charles Dickens lived here for some of his childhood, Thomas Hardy worked as a trainee architect helping to clear bodies from St Pancras Old Church when the Midlands railway was being built, and along York Way, where our building sits, you would have seen cattle being marched down the road from the Caledonian market, once the largest cattle market in Europe. More recently, King's Cross was a mecca for thousands of clubbers, The Scala screened B-movies and horror films to devoted fans, and an old coal yard was transformed into a peaceful reserve, Camley Street Natural Park.
Our first immersive GPS app set in East London, Hackney Hear won prizes around the world.
- Winner: Prix Europa, Best Radio Concept 2012
- Gold: Race For Apps Award 2012
- Nominated: Radio Academy, Technical Innovation Award 2010