There are very clear and practical affordances of data over sound. From its seamless integration into existing hardware and frictionless connections to its ability to work offline in even the most extreme environments, there is a myriad of potential use cases for data over sound. Let’s take a look at the affordances of sound, how it works, and its practical use cases.

Why sound?

Data-over-sound has a multitude of complementary capabilities when compared to other connectivity technologies. In general, compared to other technologies data-over-sound is able to be used in very wide application areas, using existing hardware and without setup or configuration. At Chirp, we believe the future for seamlessly connected devices lies in utilising a broad range of connectivity solutions, including data-over-sound, where each technology complements the others in the suite.

How does it work?

The data is encoded into a series of audible or inaudible pitches and tones to form a sonic barcode. This encoded data is sent over the air to a receiving device, or group of devices, where the data is then decoded.

By using a range of audio frequencies, programmers can fit more information into less audio; and to filter out noise, developers carefully select frequencies and tune their software so their applications can detect and decode data signals in noisy places, like a busy train platform or concert venue.

The benefits of sending data over sound

This way of embedding and extracting meaning from sound provides a quick, secure, and cost-effective solution that works completely offline. Below are further benefits of sending data over sound:

  • Works offline: Sound works peer-to-peer, or one-to-many, meaning no additional connections are needed to ‘the cloud’ or other network services. This affords data-over-sound software to work well in a situation where there is no network access, like rural or RF-restricted areas.
  • Uses existing technology: Data-over-sound software, like Chirp’s, works with any device that has a pre-existing microphone and speaker, so there’s no need for additional hardware to utilise the solution.
  • Secure data transfer: Because acoustic connection does not require an internet connection and supports industry-standard cryptography, you’ll have peace of mind that any data transferred will not be compromised.
  • Scalable: The great thing about a data-over-sound solution is there’s no need to reengineer as your application grows. Whether the aim is to enable seamless P2P exchanges or send data form one-to-many, this method of data transfer is completely scalable.
  • Works in extreme environments: Through a range of frequencies, data-over-sound software is robust to background noise and has been proven to work seamlessly in the most extreme environments. From the streets of Delhi to nuclear power stations, acoustic network connectivity remains universally strong in the toughest environments.  

Ready to see how data over sound can work for your company? Contact our engineers here at Chirp, and we’ll be happy to work with you!