Imperial College London

PlugSonic: a web-and mobile-based platform for binaural audio and sonic narratives

Marco Comunita, Andrea Gerino, Veranika Lim, Lorenzo Picinali
August 11, 2020
arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.04638

PlugSonic is a suite of web-and mobile-based applications for the curation and experience of binaural interactive soundscapes and sonic narratives. It was developed as part of the PLUGGY EU project (Pluggable Social Platform for Heritage Awareness and Participation) and consists of two main applications: PlugSonic Sample, to edit and apply audio effects, and PlugSonic Soundscape, to create and experience binaural soundscapes. The audio processing within PlugSonic is based on the Web Audio API and the 3D Tune-In Toolkit, while the exploration of soundscapes in a physical space is obtained using Apple's ARKit. In this paper we present the design choices, the user involvement processes and the implementation details. The main goal of PlugSonic is technology democratisation; PlugSonic users-whether institutions or citizens-are all given the instruments needed to create, process and experience 3D soundscapes and sonic narrative; without the need for specific devices, external tools (software and/or hardware), specialised knowledge or custom development. The evaluation, which was conducted with inexperienced users on three tasks-creation, curation and experience-demonstrates how PlugSonic is indeed a simple, effective, yet powerful tool.

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