What is the essence of the concept?

Wikipedia represents the largest database of knowledge of our time. The English Wikipedia alone has more than six million articles, over a million of which include coordinates. This gave rise to the idea of making the available knowledge tangible in a new way. On walks, long car rides or during a trip around the world, Triptalk now lets you explore the world with podcasts thanks to neural networks. The app is aimed at travelers, tourists and passengers who want to broaden their horizons.

How was the app created?

The content is based on the content of Wikipedia. The texts are summarized by neural networks, interviews are simulated by question-answer pairs. The text is synthesized, provided with background music and processed to a podcast. These podcasts can be selected from a map and played. Especially for users with limited vision or illiteracy, the audio-based presentation of the content helps to learn more about the environment. The development was done during one semester and could be tested regularly on fellow students. One month after the launch, it already counts over 1500 users worldwide. The resulting data helps to further develop and design the app.

What novel experience does the app offer?

Triptalk converts articles from Wikipedia into podcasts and locates them on a map. This way, the largest constantly growing and updating database is used as an audio travel guide. If the autoplay mode is activated, podcasts are played automatically as soon as a noted location is nearby. This way, long drives, walks or bike rides can be turned into a travel guide. Other travel guides, on the other hand, use their own content, which is not as varied and, in most cases, not set to music.

Where was the app developed?

The development was created during the course "Designing with Voice and Language" with Prof. Daniela Hensel at the HTW Berlin in the communication design program and beyond. A particular challenge was the rapid development of the concept and the MVP within three months, especially since I was working on the project alone. On March 12, the MVP was launched in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and after one month counts over 1500 users. Since then, the app has been continuously developed based on user feedback.

Which concrete approaches (ethical, social, ecological) are applied in the design process?

Like Wikipedia, Triptalk makes the world's knowledge available. However, the content on Triptalk can be experienced not only visually, but also auditorily. This means that people with limited vision and illiterate people can also consume the content. Furthermore, the app is also available to people who do not actually have access to Wikipedia. In China, Turkey, Syria and Saudi Arabia, Wikipedia is or was fully blocked, but Triptalk is fully available in these countries.

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