What is lokadot ?
A mashup of the words "local" and "anecdote", lokadot (pronounced "low" + "kuh" + "dote") is a mobile application (currently for iPhone) that serendipitously streams crowd-sourced audio files based on your location, listening preferences, and the nearby points of interest you encounter. Lokadot provides a delightfully unique and effortless way to discover your world. It taps an ever-expanding audio archive of stories that people share about their experiences in and knowledge of the places we all inhabit and visit. Anyone can contribute, and anyone can listen. Could be in any language. About anything. Anywhere.
Is the lokadot app FREE ?
Yes. The lokadot app is FREE. You can download it from Apple's iPhone App Store.
How does lokadot work ?
Lokadot uses your mobile phones high speed Internet connection to find and stream audio files and display related content that is relevant to your location, in addition to using your mobile phones GPS receiver and "Location Services" to determine where you are and how close you are to any "points of interest" in the lokadot database. To get it going, after you've downloaded and installed/synced lokadot, all you need to do is run the application by touching the lokadot icon on your mobile phone's home screen. Make sure the volume of your phone is at a comfortable level, and put your ear-buds in. And, for a seemless listening experience alongside your favorite music, you can start your iPod app first, and then run lokadot at the same time. That's it, you're ready to go!
NOTE!!! Because lokadot relies very heavily on your mobile phones network and GPS connections, both of which are very power-hungry operations, you will likely experience significant battery drainage very quickly. In the meantime, pray for better and better batteries in the future ;-)
What should I expect to happen when running lokadot on my mobile phone ?
If you are also running your iPod app, just enjoy the music and lokadot will run silently in the background. Simply travel (ie, walk, ride, drive) towards your destination (ie, your office, a shop, a meeting place, a tourist destination) and if you happen to encounter a location (ie, building, statue, store, park, landmark) that has an audio file associated with it, your music will temporarily pause, and you'll automatically start hearing the lokadot audio file. When the lokadot audio file finishes playing, your music will automatically resume play exactly where it had been paused.
Where can I use lokadot ?
Anywhere in the world, with the following 3 caveats: 1) Your phone must have a high-speed Internet connection, 2) your phone should be able to get clear access to GPS satellites, and 3) there must be locations near you that have content in the lokadot database associated with them. All that said, upon launching in early 2011, we've partnered with a handful of organizations in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area to provide what we are calling "seed audio content" while we prove the concept and spread the word. Meanwhile, we'll be building out the application and website with all the functionality necessary for anyone, anywhere to publish their own audio content. So, as a boot-strapped startup, we have a soft spot for Philly, and we ask your patience as we grow in fits and starts.
Audio...is that it ?
Actually, whenever lokadot plays an audio file, it also shows you a picture, the title of the audio file, the name of the associated location, and a click-able URL in case you'd like even more information. You can listen to audio files in "Auto-Play" mode, or manually by choosing them from an ordered list or map that shows you what "points of interest" (ie, audio files) are nearby.
What kind of audio can I listen to and how can I better manage the types of audio I'll be hearing ?
By default, lokadot will auto-play any and all audio associated with the locations you'll be encountering. However, if you're only interested in certain kinds of audio (ie, Tourism, History, Architecture, Comedy, etc.), simply touch the "Home" button (top-left) and a new page will come up that allows you to change the "Categories" of the audio files you'll be listening to. Touch any of the listed categories to select or un-select them, and then touch the "Done" button (top-right). That's it!
Who creates the content and associated audio files that I'll be hearing ?
The audio you'll hear is crowd-sourced. Any and all individuals and organizations can create and upload their own (not someone else's) audio into lokadot. At the same time, the audio will be curated by the listener community through ratings, etc. As a listener, you'll eventually be able to "rate" an audio file and "report" inappropriate audio, so that over-time, only the best audio files survive. (note: still in developement as of Feb 2011)
What makes lokadot different from other similar apps ?
Most mobile apps that allow you to listen to audio associated with your physical surroundings are different in two ways: a) first, you either have to download their audio onto your computer first and then move it onto your mobile device, or your mobile app comes with a limited number and particular type of audio file (ie, tourism-related) that is created and installed by the mobile application developer, and b) you often must manually choose to play an audio file when you reach a specific location, rather than the audio file playing automatically. Whereas with lokadot, the content is serendipitously streamed in real-time over the air via your Internet connection, based on your location, and there is no limit to the number and types of audio you'll hear because the content in lokadot is crowd-sourced.
Is the audio only available in English ?
Only initially. We've just launched, and our immediate market is the United States, which is primarily an English-speaking country. However you can (as an Audio Publisher) upload audio in any language for any location in the world from day one. (sign up to receive an invitation for an Audio Publisher account on our website homepage)
As a listener, what audio/player settings are available to me ?
We're in the process of adding lots of new functionality, both on our website, and in the mobile app. But on "day one" of our launch, here are the settings you'll have access to:
- Categories: Determines the types of audio files that you'll be listening to. By default, all categories are selected.
- Auto-Play: Determines whether you want lokadot to serendipitously/automatically play audio for you when you encounter a location that has an audio file associated with it. You can deactivate this option, and manually play, pause and stop audio files whenever you desire. This setting is "On" by default.
- Auto-Play Radius: The Auto-Play Radius tells lokadot when to start playing a specific audio based on the real-time calculated distance between you and any nearby locations. if you have set "Auto-Play" to "On", then as soon as you reach the specified "Auto-Play Radius" of a location that has audio associated with it, the audio will begin playing automatically. You can increase or decrease this radius as you please. The default setting is 200 meters.
- Only Show New Stuff: Determines whether all audio files will be shown on the player list/map, OR only those that you have never listened to before. This is most relevant when you have turned the "Auto-Play" setting off so that you must manually choose the individual audio files you want to hear from the map or ordered list. In this case, the map and list of audio files available to you will only be those that you have never heard before ("New Stuff").
Lokadot is a FREE smartphone application, currently available for the iPhone. Stay tuned while we continue to build out our functionality, expand the geographic footprint of our content, and the number of mobile platforms on which lokadot will run.
Frequently asked questions
- What is lokadot?
- Is the lokadot app FREE?
- How does lokadot work?
- What should I expect to happen when running lokadot on my mobile phone?
- Where can I use lokadot?
- Audio...is that it?
- What kind of audio can I listen to and how can I better manage the types of audio I'll be hearing?
- Who creates the content and associated audio files that I'll be hearing?
Need more information? Please email us at info at lokadot.com. We're a very small team and we receive a high volume of requests each day, so we apologize in advance if we're not able to get back to you immediately.