Here’s an idea, which I gladly present to you. It will be possible with the xamoom location cms – there ist just one minor API change missing.
Ever since I landed with xamoom in the tourism industry, I asked myself: “Why does no one in tourism make use of the guest’s car stereo?” It would make perfect sense: Mobile phones are ubiquitous and always with you, almost any cars on our roads can communicate with them via Bluetooth. And especially abroad, I really cannot stand the terrible noise from unknown radio stations.
Recently, a demo for Martin Schobert of tourismusdesign brought that topic up again. He is a strong believer that tourists shall be accompanied even before their stay.
So if you go on holiday, you might want to get into the mood for the place. Most likely one would like to get advice on local restaurants and attractions or consume wisdom about the country and people. Or how about history and stories?
Just like any other content, audio files can be bound to places and objects using xamoom. Add some creativity and they can enrich the guest’s experience of the destination even before reaching it. Using Beacons along the road or the GPS module in the phone, the audio playback can be triggered within an app. This could work like follows:
Example Wörthersee Tourism: A holidaying couple drives through the tunnel and reaches Carinthia. Here, at last, the app could notify them and offer the audio playback on the road towards the hotel.
From the border to the destination (Wörthersee) the time can be predicted quite accurately. The ride can be designed up until reaching the hotel’s parking lot. At least in theory (because it is not very practical), this would certainly be possible also on the mobile web, due to the fact that audio from the mobile browser can be played via Bluetooth to the car radio as well.
Advanced playback via apps
Apps are not making this more convenient, but offer far more possibilities. Thus, the audio file may already be loaded after the app installation at home. A decent quality 64 kbit AAC file takes little more than 25 MB per hour. The app could then respond to Beacons or GPS based on the desired location and suggest the right audio track.
Unfortunately, not everyone drives the same speed and is staying at the same hotel. Therefore: advanced audio playback.
To offer a great experience from the place X to location Y, the audio playback needs to be variable.
The main track contains all the essential content and should at least be played. Is this done, and the tourist is not there yet, optional tracks can be added of the playlist. At the end, a short final track should be added expressing a warm welcome.
Is the car driving faster than expected (which could be measured by GPS), an algorithm in the app would thereby speed up the audio track by a few percents. Is it slower, the main track could be slowed down a little, without any audible disturbance. In addition, extra tracks could be added towards the end as fillers.
The difficulties here?
- The production of audio content is much more complex (and more expensive) than text or image.
- When planning, in addition to good content and speakers, the ideal lengths needs to be taken into account.
- The app developer has to build extra audio templates for this ride and possibly additional tours.
The publishing of the data in the xamoom location cms is the simplest part. The produced audio files are simply added sequentially to a page. This page needs to be tagged with a keyword so that the app knows what template it should use for the audio tour. Done.
Audio in tourism
The ride to the hotel is only one of many possibilities. My original idea was born during a road trip through the wonderful Triglav National Park. Apart from a few boards along the road, nothing tells the stories and the history of this great area. I can also imagine guided audio tours for bike rides, hikes or road trips on mountain roads.
I believe that listening materials are hugely underestimated. How about a Spotify playlist of local and regional musicians you really just need to link to? Playlists are content and they are completely free too!
When cars turn into phone accessories
The opportunities for content and good apps in the car will be striking. More and more cars are networked and both Google (Android car) and Apple (CarPlay) are already integrated into a series of new cars. The only question is, who will be the first (or last) to jump on the train. The effort to make apps for both platforms is not tremendous and you can still be a pioneer.
Do you want to look into the future of automotive entertainment? Here’s a video about Android Car and one about Apple’s CarPlay.
We invite developers as well as tourism professionals to take on this idea. We offer a perfectly suited CMS and powerful developer tools – APIs and SDKs – too. And whoever wants to try xamoom, they can get in contact with us and we will gladly help them
Photos: Monkey Business and hobbitfoot/Adobe Stock