by Laura Feinstein
There are many ways to spin a good yarn. At this year’s Future of Storytelling Summit (FoST), a yearly meeting of the cross-disciplinary minds spanning tech, design, experiential and innovation, founder Charlie Melcher (of Melcher Media; Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and last year’s JJ Abrams interactive project) described it succinctly: “a great story has the ability to transport and transform.” For the first day of the festival—held on Snug Harbor, Staten Island—the story transported its illustrious guests and speakers, which included Dr. Rosalind Picard, Founder and Director of the Affective Computing Group at MIT Media Lab and Todd Yellin, VP of Product Innovation at Netflix (among many others) through an immersive medley of discussions, performances and virtual reality experiences.
The commencement of FoTS also saw the introduction of Binauric’s latest innovation, a unique, easy-to-use, app-driven recording device for their Boom Boom audio speaker that delivers professional-grade panoramic sound straight to smartphones. While there have been similar products in the past, none have been able to duplicate the subtle aural textures the way that Boom Boom has. It allows listeners to replicate exotic, or even mundane, ambient noise from the comforts of home—capable of revolutionizing radio and video journalism, in addition to allowing users to capture far-flung vacations.
Boom Boom is the brainchild of Binauric, a French collective of sound engineers, production wizards and digital technologists. The speaker’s product design, a collaboration with designer Mathieu Lehanneur, was initially unveiled this past April at the Milan Design Fair. However, the revolutionary functions were kept under wraps until yesterday. “We wanted to launch it here [at FoST] because we believe that sound is instrumental to storytelling,” says digital strategist Gregory Pouy, one of the driving technical forces behind Boom Boom. “When we designed Boom Boom we wanted to create a unique experience for people in the digital world. The idea is that you can send an emotion—a moment with your kids, time with your family—anywhere. When you take a video, or a picture, the sound is lost—but that’s such an important aspect of an experience, and we wanted to save it.”
Part of the success of Boom Boom’s product design has been its utilization of multiple recording devices, located within the cube and positioned to mimic the brain and inner ear’s ability to absorb sound. As a result, when you play back taped noise on your headphones it can feel like it’s actually playing inside your cranium. “We all come from professional radio background,” says CMO Pierre-Henri Samion. “We got together because we wanted to bring this one thing we know really well to everyday people. We think sound is very important in people’s lives and wanted to elevate recording quality to the next level. In 2014—it’s not stereo, it’s not mono—it’s immersive sound.”
The app isn’t available to download on iTunes until this November, but be sure to keep an eye on Binauric’s website for further announcements and more info.
Images courtesy of Boom Boom