Innovation Cities

Coming up: a soundtrack to Google Street View?

By Hamza Ali, special to
Amplifon UK

Ever wonder how somewhere sounds as well as looks? Well, a U.K.-based hearing aid company has launched a project to let you hear the sounds of Google Street View.

The project, called Sounds of Street View, is run by the U.K.'s Amplifon and aims to crowd-source sounds from around the world. Then, using Google's Street View programming interface, people and businesses will be able to place a sound as well as a location marker on the online map.

The idea is that when web-users view a location on Street View, they'll get a "3D ambient sound" of their location which adjusts according to exactly what you are looking at.

"The concept seems to have sparked people's imaginations, so hopefully we can start getting some great projects entered soon" Stephen Griffin ," a developer for Sounds of Street View, told CNBC via email.

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"Our hope is that we get some great 'everyday' soundscapes but also a few really out-there concepts too, such as the internal atmosphere from one of the many Street View stadiums around the world, or perhaps the underwater expeditions!"

The project's website already has three examples of locations with sound markers, each location has around 50-60 sounds all situated at particular places on the view to sound like they are emitting from a particular visual source.

Amplifon believes this immersive technology will offer companies a new promotional opportunity.

"There's also potential for businesses, tour operators and such to think about how they communicate their brand/service when they get their own Street View internal tours," Griffin told CNBC.

"Sound adds a whole new atmospheric element to somewhere like, say, a restaurant, where you could have a welcoming message at the door, an ambient atmosphere to get potential clientele to gain a more thorough vibe."

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