woices 150x150 Woices   Audio Augmented Reality for your iPhoneSightseeing could get a whole lot more interesting with this new app called Woices. Short for World Voices, this free app allows you to record an audio ‘guide’ or commentary for the specific location you are in. Think an audio version of Panoramio on Google Earth, but in the actual physical space.

So, if you are standing outside the Louvre in Paris and you have something to share then you can record some audio for inclusion on the site. The recording function ties in your audio piece with a geotag for the location. An additional description and image can be added to the file before uploading to the Woices server. The package file size is quite small (around 70k for 30 seconds of audio and a photo) so there shouldn’t be too much pressure on your data or roaming contract. <–more–>

Screen shot 2009 12 11 at 11.59.27 300x268 Woices   Audio Augmented Reality for your iPhoneThe resultant masterpiece can then be accessed from your iPhone or others when they are in the area. It also appears on the site if you wish to research locations before you go. The neat embed function will take the clip and allow you to place it wherever you would like.

The limitations of the app are tied to those of the ‘phone – for the iPhone the camera quality is not great and the audio, as in my example on the left, is subject to the winds and surrounding ambient noises. The other stumbling block will of course be your lack of inspiration trying to record something useful – like my attempt outside a great bookshop in Paris.

On the flip side of the experience, as the site grows you will be able to fire up the app and see what audio guides others have left for the specific area you are in. This could become a very interesting way of gaining more personal insight into an area or a new perspective on a place you know well.

The challenge, like many social businesses will be the uptake and input of users to build the database which in time will have a knock on effect for the value of the app and service. The idea seems cool and the app is quick to download and easy to use (after a quick registration.) Time and content will decide its success.