Voice & Data Convergence

Q&A: Data transfer via sound doesn't mean death of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Chirp is a technology company which sends data via sound. Founded in 2011, the website explains it “encodes data into a series of audible or inaudible near-ultrasonic pitches and tones to form a ‘sonic barcode’. Data is encoded on a sending device before being transmitted, over the air, to a receiving device, or group of devices where it is decoded.” Moran Lerner, CEO of Chirp answers a few questions.


How did the idea for this technology come about?

The idea behind the technology came out of years of research by a group of computer scientists and acoustic technologists at University College London. Their focus was to understand gaps in connectivity between machines whilst “humanising” the interaction. Their research was focused on allowing interactive communications between machine and machine and human to machine.


Is anyone else doing anything similar?

In the exact space that Chirp are involved in, we were the first to develop and productise the technology. Since launching back in 2011, several companies have tried to replicate the technology and its use. Almost all of these companies have focused solely on the inaudible frequencies of sound, and that has become quite a crowded space. Those companies have developed their technologies to work across only smartphone and tablet devices, which is quite a small segment of a much larger and wider sector of data over sound. The fact they also focus on just ultrasonic data transmission means they have limited the segment in which they operate even further.

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