Friday, October 25, 2013

The future of audio

In recent years we have seen a lot of development in streamed audio. Services like Spotify, Grooveshark and others have basically exploded and gained a lot of ground on the traditional audio market. More people started listening to online audio services and this is evident when one looks around at the high number of people constantly using headphones. New formats like podcasts have taken over some of radio's former roll. However, this format is somewhat limited since it can’t bring you breaking news. As media technology students this is something we would like to explore and find a solution for, as well as imagining new and innovative ways to use audio in the future for news delivery.

Current trends show consumers want customized news feeds. A good example of this is how people are using the RSS functions/podcasts to get a more personal touch to their flow. But the users also want to be able to do multiple things all the time which suits the audio format perfectly since it is a “passive” way of consuming information. Activities such as commuting, cleaning cooking etc. are perfect scenarios for audio consumption and offer opportunities for development and use of our solutions. How can an improved re-imagining of audio in the future create new opportunities for news delivery and dissemination?

Our project will develop new solutions for news consumption in the audio format. We see a better way to allow consumers of news to enjoy a personalized news flow and our research will help us design this system. Drawing on current trends our idea includes Spotify (and similar streaming services) news integration to take the news where users are. This style of news integration could become quite meaningful in many areas including large scale transportation industries for both commuters and workers.

The question becomes how to make news more accessible and personalized in different areas of people's lives. Certainly new tools and systems will have to be designed for future news integration of this type. Our group has several research options including print and popular culture sources but also the possibility to perform focus group interviews with our tentatively selected target audience of students.

Our plan is to create a revolutionary system to deliver a desired service of personalized audio news delivery based upon this initial idea of streaming integration.

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