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A StoryBox Intercom (ideas wanted)

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by alexkerhead

I’m toying with a new idea for a public interaction device with the StoryBox/Piratebox but the DIY part is something I could use suggestions on.

The idea is to have a device out in a public space, that is within range of the wireless network created by the Piratebox, ideally like here house in a retro phone or telecom device. When someone picked it up, it would play a random audio prompt from a directory on the box. These would be in the form of questions meant to elicit a response, like:

  • When you dream of flying where do you go?
  • Tell me a time you cheated or lied.
  • What is the place in the world that makes you feel the most relaxed?

e.g. all things meant to elicit anonymous audio responses. After the prompt plays, a greeting would say, “please press the green button to record a 3 minute response”. This would then be recorded, and transmitted back to the storybox (via ftp??).

Alan Liddell, student tech extra ordinaire at DTLT, is experimenting with a prototype mobile app to serve this function, but having a real retro device to me would be fascinating.

So the question is, what sort of thing would give the ability to download and play a random audio file from a given directory on the pirate box, be able to record a new audio, and send it back? The Raspberry Pi seems like an obvious choice, but I’d like to know what it would take to put this together. Another option might be some sort of netbook hidden in the base of the comm device.

Anyone want to help me build this thing? Hallo?

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. I’m intrigued by what you think you might get at the other end and who might access it in what artistic capacity. But I’m a dreamer, not a builder, so the best I can do is sprinkle good luck fairy dust on the project, stand back and let it do its magic.

  2. I don’t have any immediate ideas but would love to continue working with you on this. I love the idea and it seems certainly possible. Raspberry Pi is great but not shipping (yet, hopefully soon) but there are other boxes that are fairly small and might be competitive against the price of a full netbook. Maybe the FreedomBox could do this?

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