chapter  13
16 Pages

Four Ways of Listening with an iPhone: From Sound and Network Listening to Biometric Data and Geolocative Tracking

WithKATE CRAWFORD

Much commentary on the iPhone has focused on its visual aspects, from the way the phone looks to how it infl uences the act of looking, via camera, photographic apps and various forms of augmented reality software.1 But the iPhone is also a complex technology of listening. From its inception, it was touted as a perfect combination of a music device, a telecommunications hub and an internet communicator. These can all be understood as diff erent kinds of listening available to the user, but beyond this, there are multiple ways in which the iPhone listens back to its user. Together, the iPhone and the user form a “listening station”: where an array of activities and processes can occur that are impossible alone, depending on the nature of the accord that is reached between the human agent and the iPhone.