Media

Now you can transmit data to smart devices over inaudible soundwaves

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What if while watching your favorite football team play, the quarterback’s stats and bio were sent directly to your phone? Or you walked past a new cleaning product in the grocery store and your phone received a coupon for it? Well, a new company called Sonic Notify is making those kinds of over-the-air content transmissions possible.

Sonic Notify has built a unique content delivery platform to deliver data such as ads, apps, web pages, video and more in the form of an audio signal to a mobile device. The audio signal, which is inaudible to the human ear, can be broadcasted during a television show, radio broadcast, movie showing, music concert or any other event, and can be received by any smart device with a microphone.

While the possibilities are seemingly endless, examples of what can be done with Sonic Notify’s technology include sending a companion app to your iPad when you watch American Idol, pushing a video of a new cereal to your phone when you walk past its display in a grocery store, or pinging cast information to your iPhone while you’re watching a movie in theaters (actually, turn.

Co-founder Alex Bell told VentureBeat, “The Sonic Experiences app uses a complex algorithm to decipher the audio signal transmitted, reducing problems associated with frequency noise. With Sonic Notify, we are making the link between the speaker and microphone as robust as we can.”

Sonic Notify’s technology works by sending out a code as an audio signal from a speaker to any device with a microphone. A companion app provided by Sonic Notify interprets the unique code to deliver the correct content. Everything is based on proximity; once a device gets close enough to the signal, it can receive the data.

While I can only hope this type of technology will be used to enrich our lives with helpful and captivating content, I know one of the biggest markets for this service is advertising. What advertiser wouldn’t want to send ads of their products straight to your phone when you walk into a store or see their product on TV? For now, you need to have Sonic Notify’s app on your device to receive the audio signals, but this type of technology could open the doors for content providers to send unwanted content your way without any input from you.