Jungle-ized: a Binaural Soundscape in Times Square, New York

Soundwalk Collective and GPS Museum approached Motive.io in search of a technology solution for a sonic art installation in Times Square to celebrate Earth Day 2016.

Can We Bring the Sounds of the Amazon Rainforest to the Streets of New York City?

Soundwalk Collective had a vision to bring the sounds of the Amazon rainforest to the streets of New York city. Presented in partnership with Times Square Arts, NYC & CO., Audio-Technica, The Lost Explorer, and CXA+ART, the experience encouraged and celebrated a conversation with nature to bring a heightened awareness around climate change and the environmental impact of our everyday actions.

The vision was simple yet ambitious: transport visitors to the heart of the Amazon by positioning sounds from the jungle in the streets of Times Square. Visitors could roam the soundscape at their own pace, encountering the voices of Shipibo shamans, narration by Amazon experts, and hundreds of birds and animals as they wandered.

Jungleized app - binaural soundscape

Our Process

The Jungle-Ized project was developed as a collaboration between developers and artists around the world. A team of sound experts was providing recordings from the depths of the Amazon rainforest while sound designers and software developers built the experience in Spain, New York City, and Vancouver, BC. The Motive.io authoring tool enabled the teams to work in parallel and iterate on the experience in real time. The locative sound feature allowed the sound designers to precisely position the rainforest sounds using GPS coordinates in and around Times Square.

The Solution

Jungle-Ized and Jungle-Ized Lite were released for iOS and Android in April, 2016. For the month of April leading up to Earth Day, visitors to Times Square were able to borrow a pair of noise-canceling Audio Technica headphones and explore the Amazon rainforest by walking the streets of Times Square.

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jungleized - binaural soundscape

Times Square Transformed

…It was quite unique because you see Times Square in a totally different way. I’m from New York, and I’ve never seen Times Square like this!

–Jungle-ized user

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“the chance to listen to what nature has to say.”

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