Messaging is getting ever more artistic: a new app called Recho by Copenhagen-based Mads Damsbo and Åsmund Sollihøgdalets you leave geo-located sound messages for other people to discover. If you're familiar with the app Traces, which lets users leave fragments of messages in the digital ether for others to find, then Recho—what Damsbo andSollihøgda call a "site-specific storytelling app"—follows a similar principle, except with sound.
Once you've downloaded the free app and signed up, you can look for "rechoes" near you using a compass-based interface. It shows you 16 of the nearest recordings, but my location on the fringes of South East London didn't immediately bring up anyone within listening distance. You have to be in approximately the same area where other recordings took place, but I did leave one behind for posterity.
Once you've recorded whatever sound you wish—some music, some advice, some tips, a story, an aural treasure trail, a forewarning—you then put it into a category, either Story, Moment, Guide, Tip, Game, Music, Other and then you can add a description and hashtags and unleash it into the virtual ecosystem publicly (or privately) for anyone else with the app.
Recho's inspiration for the app came from the pair's love of podcasts and the ways in which the places where they heard particular episodes helped augment the experience of listening to it. They were prompted to ask, "What if a story belonged to a place and you would have to be at that exact place to hear it?" Damsbo calls the concept "augmented aurality" and, as with Traces, the longer these kinds of apps are around, the more content will be created and thus, the richer the experience will be.
"The world will become one big virtual sound museum, full of city guides, concerts, treasure hunts," Damsbo andSollihøgda say. "Tips for where to pick the best mushrooms and glimpses of people’s lives will be saved in parks, forests and cities like little time capsules that can be opened by whoever finds them."
Recho's compass-based interface
Click here to check out Recho in the App Store.