ListenIn: An ambient platform that augments music with an information layer  |  April 2014

An application which helps you avoid pulling out a smartphone, and instead gently intersperses useful or interesting content over the audio you're listening to on your headphones.

As users navigate the city, the Assistant function utilizes calendar data, location and orientation to discreetly assist with directions, public transport, errands and more.

ListenIn is conceived as a passive service, responding to data on your phone or your proximity to triggers around a city. This bypasses the need for verbal input, which can be cumbersome in many contexts. The Explore function features curated city guides, local events, nearby friend notifications and other interesting content to enrich the experience of walking around a city in a more leisurely mode. It's conceived as a platform, where different content owners could produce material to be triggered in specific locations via iBeacon proximity sensing technology. Perhaps a Fran Lebowitz guide to Manhattan, or Spike Lee guide (or rant) about gentrification in Brooklyn.

The different sources can be managed in settings, with the frequency of content injections tweaked as desired. Sources can also be switched off via the sliders. Additionally, the service is integrated with iOS Control Center giving immediate access to toggle on or off the whole Assistant or Explore functions.

Underlying the seamless, passive nature of the service is a discreet 'snooze' feature that lets users quiet the content and continue listening to music. This is achieved by double tapping the phone itself while in lock mode, using the built in accelerometer to sense motion.