Tuesday 12pm, 26 January 2016

Steve and luisa

Place-based audio storytelling with Detour

Steve Rubin and Luisa Beck

Engineer & Producer - Detour


What if San Francisco could talk? What stories would it tell you? Detour uses your phone to turn audio tours into hour-long stories that unfold as you walk. With authentic narrators and film-quality sound design and scoring, taking a Detour is like walking around inside a movie. Storytellers create Detours using software called Descript. This tool links word processing, mapping, and audio editing features to help a user create and and edit their script, plot their tour's route, and position audio and images throughout the tour. In this talk, the speakers take you behind the scenes of a new storytelling medium and show you the software they’re developing to let anyone create immersive audio tours.


Steve Rubin is an Engineer at Detour. In his UC Berkeley PhD dissertation—advised by Maneesh Agrawala—he focused on creating software for editing audio stories. He’s continuing to design and build new audio editing tools at Detour.

Luisa Beck is a Producer at Detour. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she worked as a radio producer, education researcher, and web developer before wandering into the world of place-based storytelling.