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Case Study


Berkley, US

Currently, ringtones on mobile phones have a private meaning but create a public experience. Can we generate a "place based ringtone" that would be a dynamic mashup of the people nearby. Using a mobile phone's Bluetooth sensor, we are able to retrieve unique IDs and names of nearby devices. The IDs also provide information about each device's manufacturer. The result of this live scan is shown on the phone's screen. Each ID triggers a unique audio output that mixes with the others nearby. The resulting sound is played out the speaker. The sounds are deterministic that is if the same people are around it will produce the same sound. Imagine each of us exuding a personal sound. What would you sound like? How do we collectively sound?


“As urban computing researchers, it is important that we are able to build real prototypes that can be deployed in actually city landscapes. That means designing and building quality and industrially hardened artifacts. Many of our designs are also challenging fabrication designs. Protocase has worked with us closely on several projects and in every case have consistently delivered exceptional final products that have exceeded our needs and leveraged our research. We are happy to have found such as tremendously valuable resource to work with and will most certainly work with them again in the future. “- Eric Paulos