This Easter, thousands of tourists will be guided around some of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations with help from a Nottingham team.
Voice artists from the city were involved in putting together the audio for Pocket Britain – a free mobile phone app which gives visitors key information about an area, including venues to visit.
The app has recently been announced as a finalist in the Race for Apps final, a competition that aims to discover world-beating ideas for smartphone apps for visitors attending the Olympic Games this summer.
Created by app developer Pocket Places, the commentary, audio and sound effects for Pocket Britain were recorded at Nottingham-based Northbound Studios by musician and recording engineer Mike Giddins.
He used voice artists living in the city, but with different accents, to record the commentary.
And while many of the sound effects were recorded at specific venues across Great Britain, some of the more general sounds were recorded in Nottingham, with the River Trent featuring whenever the sound of water is used.
“The various members of the Nottingham team have played a huge role in the development of Pocket Britain, and in effect they will be guiding tourists and visitors around hundreds of venues across Great Britain this Easter,” said Mark Oakden, CEO of app developer Pocket Places, which is based near Norwich in Norfolk.
Mark, who is originally from Nottingham, went to the former Bilborough Grammar School and worked for many years at computer-aided design software company Pafec Ltd at Strelley. He has worked with tourist boards, heritage sites and other organisations across Great Britain to create the free mobile phone app.
His son Nick Oakden, from Hyson Green, wrote many of the scripts used in the app, which is a national destination guide that’s available literally at your fingertips.
Nottingham musician Mike Giddins, who has written music for TV and radio, worked with five locally based voice artists, including two students from the University of Nottingham and an actor originally from the north of England, to create authentic-sounding commentary.
“I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I do like attention to detail when it comes to sound effects,” he said. “When you’re involved in a project like this you have to be a people manager, you have to have an artistic angle on it and you have to have a technical angle on it.
“I’m very proud of the quality of the app. It’s great to think that people across Great Britain will be enjoying getting out and about and visiting hundreds of tourist destinations listening to our words.”
The mobile web version of Pocket Britain, which is free to download, is being continually updated and is available from www.pocketbritain.com via the Apple Appstore and the Android Marketplace. Users can either download the app or visit the website using their smartphone.
It features details about the best and most interesting places to visit around Great Britain, and contains more than 500 articles and thousands of photos.
It even allows users to send a free picture postcard to friends and family – sharing their experiences.
“We have worked with a wide range of organisations to put together the content for Pocket Britain,” said Mark Oakden.
“Each Pocket Britain article is in a consistent format, designed for a small smartphone display, and every article contains at least one photo, with many articles featuring further photos and even audio commentary.
“The app uses the location facilities of the smartphone to inform users what’s of interest nearby, including the history of an area and places to visit, and features useful information like opening times, entry prices and contact details.”
Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk