App with interactive effects launched2019-04-30
Four students on the Master of Science in Engineering programme helped to develop Dysconnect, an app with podcast dramas that enhance the listening experience through interactive effects. The app was presented for the first time to the public at a cultural festival in Scotland over the weekend.
Hello there Martin Wahlberg, student and app developer! You have just come home from a cultural festival in Scotland. How did people receive the app?
Those who were interested thought that the app was exiting, but scary. This was also the feeling that we wanted to convey by showing users which control mobiles exert over us. The app includes six podcast dramas that are all about some aspect of algorithmic control.
In which way does the app provide a new kind of cultural experience?
We connected the content of the dramas to interactive mobile phone effects. These are effects that can be seen or felt by users, such as vibrations in time with heartbeats, or that users have to keep walking for the drama to play. As far as we know, there are no other podcast dramas that interact with mobile phone effects, so this is completely new!
Where did the idea come from?
We took a project course in Computer Science in the autumn semester. Amanda Fromell, who is a doctoral student in drama and theatre, contacted our teacher Lothar Fritsch after she had written audio plays and rehearsed them with actors. She wanted help with reinforcing the content, and that is when we came into the picture. Three other students and I were tasked with developing interactive effects that are connected to the contents. It was fun to work on a real project while still studying. We learned a lot and it is great to see such a good final result.
Will you be going to more festivals?
Not that we know of. But the app is available via Google Play if more people want to experience it. Now the other students and I focus on our degree projects.