Friday, August 07, 2015

The Street View Hearing Test

Last year hearing aid specialists Amplifon, created a Google Maps API library which allows you to add 3d sound to Street View.

Sounds of Street View gives you the tools to place an audio file on a location in a Google Street View image. As users navigate around using Street View the sounds become quieter or louder depending on the point of view and the proximity to the tagged sounds.

You can experience the library in action in this Sounds of Street View Demo map. The map has three example Street View locations which you can explore with full 3d sound: the Place du Palais in France, Hapuna Beach in Hawaii and Balboa Park in San Diego. You can explore each of these locations in Street View just as you would on Google Maps, using the arrows to navigate around a location. However with Sounds of Street View you also get to listen to the stereophonic sounds of each location.

You can also view some of the other projects created with Amplifon's Sounds of Street View on the Sounds of Street View Project Gallery. My favorite map by far is Zombie Sound Experienz, which uses the Business Photos Street View tour from the Zombie Manor in Drayton with the Amplifon library to create a creepy virtual tour, with full 3d sound.

As you progress through this zombie filled virtual Street View tour you can now actually hear the zombies pursuing you. As you visit the different rooms in the Zombie Manor you will hear a variety of creepy sounds. Different zombies and rooms have different sounds attached to them, which get louder or quieter as you approach or travel away from them.

The creators of Sounds of Street View are the hearing aid specialists, Amplifon. It therefore seems almost inevitable that they would end up using their own library to create a Street View Hearing test.

The Art of Hearing places you within three obscured Street View panoramas. Your task in each Street View is to identify the source of the hidden sound (a waterfall, bird song & a ringing telephone). You are given a score in each Street View based on how close you guessed to the source of the sound.

At the end of the test your hearing is assessed based on your guesses, your age and gender. Do very badly and you just might be advised to undertake a proper hearing test.

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