Milestones

Transport Ticketing Global Awards shortlists LISNR for Ticketing Technology of the Year

Cost-effective, scalable and easy to both deploy and manage, Smart Tones redefine what's possible with ticketing today.

LISNR Smart Tone technology is consistently recognized as a next-generation, innovative communication solution that introduces something unique, effective and much-needed in today's world.

Recently, LISNR was shortlisted for the Ticketing Technology of the Year for the 2017 Transport Ticketing Global Awards. This annual event, taking place on January 24 and 25 in Old Billingsgate, London, is the world's biggest public transport gathering and features some of the industry's greatest influencers. It is an opportunity and celebration for advancements in smart ticketing, intelligent travel and connected cities. The Ticketing Technology of the Year category, in particular, seeks to honor a company that created an entirely new product promising to redefine ticketing as we know it – and that is exactly what LISNR has done with Smart Tones.

As the world's most advanced high-frequency, inaudible "data over audio" technology, Smart Tones have already made waves across multiple sectors. The first public debut of the Smart Tone Ticketing solution was at this year's TechStars FounderCon, which helped establish a frictionless check-in process at the event. Last year, Smart Tones were used for the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival, an annual two-day event put on by Roc Nation that generates a massive crowd and impressive lineup of artists.

How Smart Tone Ticketing works
Smart Tones offer instant device-to-device authentication and communication. They can be used on any device with microphone/speaker functionality without additional hardware or Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or data connectivity – making them the ideal technology to use at crowded events, such as sports games and concerts. The locally generated, bidirectional authentication enables more efficient event entry and check-in processes, secure transactions, relevant and targeting messaging and personalized experiences. Cost-effective, scalable and easy to both deploy and manage, Smart Tones redefine what's possible with ticketing today.

In addition, the Transport Ticketing Global Award, LISNR is also nominated for both the Move to Mobile and Product Innovation award at this year's Ticketing Technology Awards. Click here to vote!

If you want to learn more about how Smart Tones revolutionize smart ticketing, check out the video below:

The successful launch of Smart Tone Ticketing

Smart Tone Ticketing was used to establish a fast, secure and efficient offline authentication process.

As the world's most advanced ultrasonic inaudible technology, LISNR Smart Tones present a new, more efficient and cost-effective way of connecting mobile applications and devices. The most notable use of the revolutionary technology, Smart Tone Ticketing, was recently demonstrated at the 2016 TechStars FounderCon in Cincinnati.

An annual event that brings together thousands of tech leaders and guests, TechStars FounderCon was a perfect place for LISNR, in partnership with Splash marketing platform, to pressure test its Smart Tone Ticketing system. In the past, QR codes were used, making 2016 the first time the event would feature a new innovative system for mobile ticketing, as well as the first time LISNR would publicly demonstrate its Smart Tone Ticketing solution.

Attendees signed up for a ticket on a Splash site, then received a Smart Tone ticket via email. Once there, the guests' device emitted a Smart Tone with uniquely identifying data packets, which the venue's custom-built app locally received, decoded and authenticated. One-hundred percent of the Smart Tones played were authenticated, some in as quickly in 0.6 seconds – and all without the need for any Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or data connectivity.

Benefits of Smart Tone Ticketing
Mobile-based authentication can be difficult, with QR codes, NFC and a lot of the other existing technologies being expensive and inconvenient. Most require users to purchase and install additional hardware. Then there are also performance and operational issues, such as quick battery usage, lengthy installation processes and limited network range connectivity.

This is why the launch of Smart Tone Ticketing is so exciting, not just for LISNR, but for the opportunities and applications it provides organizations and users across the globe with. In addition to establishing a fast, secure and frictionless check-in process, below are some of the additional advantages of using Smart Tone Ticketing:

  • Low cost: Similar to other types of mobile ticketing solutions, Smart Tones eliminate the need to print paper tickets. However, what really sets Smart Tones aside is that they can be played and received from nearly any device speaker, so no additional hardware, maintenance or upgrades are needed. 
  • Offline authentication: With Smart Tones, encoding and decoding happens locally – no traditional connectivity or device pairing needed. And because LISNR is a closed communication protocol capable of wrapping standard encryption standards of other protocols, it results in the most secure mobile ticketing authentication possible.
  • Personalized experiences: Every Tone has its own unique identifier, allowing businesses to reach and target audiences efficiently and deliver guests with relevant messaging. Push notifications are sent directly to the attendee based on time synchronization or proximity. This real-time solution provides engaging augments to the moments that matter most during live events. 

To learn more about the world's first and most advanced ultrasonic audio solution, check out this video below:

LISNR 2016: Year in Review

2016 was a particularly monumental year for LISNR.

As the world's most advanced ultrasonic audio technology, LISNR continues to be at the forefront of innovation, revolutionizing the way data is transmitted and received. 

2016 was a particularly monumental year for LISNR. Smart Tones went through game-changing improvements so that they now are bidirectional, locally generated, 26 times more reliable and capable of handling three times the data throughput. These cutting-edge enhancements have further fastened LISNR as a trailblazer leading the charge toward the Internet of Sound. 

Below are some of the top highlights from this year.

  • Launch of Smart Tone Ticketing: In partnership with Splash, LISNR made the first official debut of its Smart Tone Ticketing solution at the 2016 TechStars FounderCon. The secure, contactless offline mobile-authentication resulted in a quick, frictionless check-in process. But, more than that, the event exemplified the powerful opportunities, benefits and applications Smart Tones present for businesses around the world.
  • CES Innovation Award Honoree: One of the most notable testaments to LISNR being a best-in-class solution for connecting mobile devices and applications is receiving the nomination for the Consumer Technology Associate CES 2017 Innovations Award in the Software and Mobile Apps category. Having only just recently released the 2-way device to device functionality, LISNR is incredibly proud to receive this honor for the first time.
  • SXSW Interactive Awards Finalist: In 2016, LISNR was named a finalist for the SXSW Music & Audio Innovation Award, a recognition that is a nod toward technology that transforms and enhances the way people hear and experience music. This honor came after working with the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival. LISNR powered the Made in America Festival app, delivering concert attendees with a fast check-in process and proximity-based messaging without the need for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or data connectivity. 

These are just a few of LISNR's greatest accomplishments this year. It is fully expected that LISNR will continue to break new ground and pave the way for the future of the Internet of Sound. To get an ever better idea of the progressiveness LISNR has – and will continue to demonstrate throughout 2017 and beyond – check out this video below:

LISNR Named Finalist in Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation by Design Awards

Innovation By Design

For the last four years, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards has honored designers and businesses working together to solve the problems of today and tomorrow. This year’s competition was the biggest yet, with more than 1,500 projects entered from around the world. Categories included Smart Homes, Social Good, 3-D Printing, Fashion and more.

A panel of established designers and design-minded executives judged the entries on functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, depth of user insight, cultural impact, and business impact. As Fast Company points out, winners and finalists each “represent what’s best about design today: ‘Big ideas, meticulously thought out details, and a clear viewpoint about how we live now—and how it could be better’.”

I’m so excited to announce LISNR was named a Mobile Apps finalist — one of only 14 companies recognized in this category. And competition was extremely tough; other finalists include industry giants like Google and Instagram.

A Novel Technology

Fast Company called LISNR “a novel technology that can push anything – a song, a video, a shopping link, or an ad – to any smartphone, using soundwaves undetectable to the human ear.”

Unlike other wireless data communications, LISNR’s SmartTones deliver data over inaudible sound waves to mobile apps. Because these audio tones are delivered through existing speaker infrastructure, no new hardware or other costly implementations are needed in order for retailers, sports teams or live event venues to engage with consumers.

And with more speakers on the planet than people, this means any audio speaker can be turned into a beacon capable of sending video, data and messages – creating a whole new network capable of creating mobile engagement with audiences.

Right Place, Right Time Messaging

Today, the average person now spends more time on their phone and laptop than sleeping. Finding new ways to communicate and interact through mobile devices presents the next frontier in engagement.

In keeping with the Innovation by Design Awards vision, LISNR’s technology exemplifies how great design creates great experiences. As Fast Company notes, “Instead of having to ask users to download another app, apps that use LISNR technology can automatically download content associated with a specific place, such as a sports stadium or even a TV show.”

With sound’s ability to go where other technologies can’t – through walls and even across entire fields or stadiums – branded apps powered by LISNR technology deliver right time, right place messaging through mobile devices. For example:

Getting recognized with this prestigious award is a tremendous honor and gives the entire LISNR team something to cheer about. But more importantly, we’re most passionate about continuing to design mobile technology that creates meaningful – and delightful – engagement opportunities.

To keep up with other news and other data over sound applications, follow @LISNR.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.

Owning Moments that Matter

If you’re like me, there’s probably an iconic sports moment permanently etched in your brain. Maybe Michael Jordan’s switch-hand layup against the Lakers. Kerri Strug’s one-foot vault landing at the Olympics. Rulon Gardner’s underdog win over a 13-year undefeated wrestling champion.

My strongest sports memory was when I was 7. I watched Doug Flutie throw a “Hail Mary” touchdown pass as the clock ticked to zero to lift Boston College over the University of Miami in an amazing win. To this day, I still see in my mind and remember everything about that moment — how Doug scrambled in the pocket, how the announcers sounded calling the touchdown, and even how the entire team piled on each other to celebrate.

What exactly does this memory have to do with marketing and making meaningful connections with fans and customers?

Actually, a lot.

Making Brand Memories

Right now, my memory of Doug Flutie’s “Miracle in Miami” is tied just to him and the sport. But what if a brand capitalized on that moment in a meaningful way? Rather than just being a memory, that moment in time could become an incredible brand connection, too.

This is what gets me pumped. With mobile technology, marketers and brands have a huge (and right now, untapped) opportunity to own these moments that matter. By own, I mean create a hyper-targeted connection that benefits both fans and brands.

The Business Case for Owning Moments

Let’s stick with sports, although there are plenty of similar applications for live events, broadcast and retail. For this example, we’ll use the Cleveland Cavaliers from my home state of Ohio.

  • They host a max of 20,052 fans per home game.
  • They will play 41 home games in 2015-2016.
  • Let’s estimate 40 percent of fans have downloaded the Cav’s official mobile app.

Using these numbers, during home games, the Cavs have an opportunity to engage with almost 333,000 fans through their official mobile app.

Let’s go a step further and talk about specific moments that matter. In basketball, slam dunks are a perennial fan favorite. What if a brand were to take ownership each time Timofey Mozgov dunks? Thanks to data over sound technology, for example, an athletic shoe company could sponsor each instant replay broadcast to a fan’s mobile device through the Cav’s official app.

Let’s just see how much potential exists.

  • According to 82games.com, on average there are 6.56 dunks per game, so I’ll even go a little more conservative and use the number five.
  • Let’s estimate 75 percent of the Cav’s app users opt in to receive these special notifications.

Over 1 million premium in-stadium impressions could be generated for the shoe company (which doesn’t even take into account viewers watching from home). More than just a billboard or ad, using owned moments to connect and engage with fans all the way down to their seats has the potential to generate impressive ROI.

Keeping Owned Moments Meaningful

There are a couple caveats to owning moments that matter.

  • First, the connection between the owned moment and the brand story needs to be authentic for fans.
  • Second, to stay meaningful, not every single moment can be owned. It can quickly become overwhelming or irrelevant to fans if a brand takes ownership of a moment that happens too frequently, like three-point shots.
  • Third, look for ways to naturally extend owned moments. If a fan experiences a meaningful moment watching branded replays of slam dunks via their mobile device in-stadium, how does that connection continue for the fan at home during the next game?

Brands, fans and teams alike stand to benefit with meaningful connections in these moments that matter. So what’s going to be the next memorable moment? And who will own it?

Discover how to capitalize on moments that matter by following @LISNR.  

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.

Budweiser and LISNR are Honored with a Webby!

Exciting announcement for LISNR! Appearing right after this paragraph! Can you even wait? The suspense is building. The anticipation mounting. Here we go…

webby

Last week we were selected as a Webby Awards Official Honoree for our mobile work with the 2014 Budweiser Made In America Music Festival! While nothing we do is for the accolades or notoriety (such is the lot of a B2B company…), it felt really good to be recognized. And this isn’t our first tango with the Awards, having received a similar honor last year for J. Cole’s “Listening Session”, executed in partnership with Roc Nation.

Interested in learning more about the project? That puts you in the same company as the Webbys. Read on.

Problem

  • Budweiser needed a mobile experience to accompany the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
  • This mobile application needed engage with festival attendees on-site and in real time, bringing a heightened relevancy to the application as a digital tool for to brand and consumer engagement. The execution needed to increase brand impressions, mine unique physical and digital data points, engage attendees, and be the complete informational and experiential companion to on-site visitors.
  • Current technologies are very good at tracking consumer activity and behaviors on the digital web and making smart brand and advertising decisions based on correlating assumptions on intent and purpose. Every second of a consumer’s web history is recorded, analyzed, understood and acted upon. But innovators are still looking for ways to find consumers offline, in their real lives. A laundry list of technologies exist to make mobile devices contextually smart, but they are falling short, leaving large data holes related to where, when, and what consumers are doing in live and digital environments.

Solution

  • LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. It is a digital sound file that turns any speaker or piece of media into a beacon, working seamlessly across physical and digital spaces more effectively than all current solutions in the marketplace, most notably Bluetooth and traditional ACR.
  • LISNR is the solution to solving those gaps, providing a more reliable, scalable, universal technology to deploy across all hardware considerations, and environment considerations, based on LISNR’s unique and proprietary manipulation of sound waves. LISNR technology collects data points that can be used to measure a call to action, the success of a supporting mobile initiative, and presence/proximity insights where none had previously existed

Goals

  • Communicate customized messaging based on attendee’s exact location
  • Reach attendees with relevant content at relevant moments
  • Encourage/Track attendees around target locations
  • Increase app relevancy and engagement

Tactics

  • Broadcast LISNR ultrasonic Smart Tones throughout target festival areas, using on-site speakers and sound systems, delivering:
    • Content
    • Experiences
    • Call to Actions
    • Exclusives

…When app users come within range of a LISNR Tone.

*Another tactic: drive 6 hours from LISNR headquarters in Cincinnati to Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis to meet and strategize with the Made in America team face-to-face. That’s called “client service”.  Thank you for the BBQ, St. Lou!

Outcomes

  • 90% increase in 2015 application downloads (iOS/Android)
  • 35% increase in social activity via 2015 application
  • 20% increase in social account integrations, compared to industry standard
  • 70% push notification penetration, 500K – 750K notifications sent daily
  • 90% click through rate for LISNR triggered content
  • 11.5M brand impressions, 75% attributed to LISNR

This award could not have been possible without the effort, enthusiasm, and cooperation of our partners: Translation, Roc Nation, and above all Budweiser, who saw an opportunity for their brand to reach consumers in a more meaningful, delightful way.

Want to talk further about this or other use cases for LISNR? Reach out to me at jillian@lisnr.com.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.

We Raised Series A and Then Joined An Accelerator

[vimeo 119966937 w=500 h=281]

LISNR was founded in March 2012 and launched its first product a year after, at the end of February 2013. I joined the company right before that release, becoming a first (if not the first) employee amongst a small team of founders. I saw the company through significant business milestones, ones that supported our Seed stage ambitions and eventually solidified our Series A position. By May 2014, we had raised over $4M in two funding rounds. LISNR had weathered industry storms, changing markets, early adopters, and a few small pivots, but the aforementioned history can be leveraged as evidence that we had a defensible business and technology, supported by bullish investors representing the industry vision we intended to fall in line with. So it makes natural sense that in October 2014 we were accepted into the R/GA Accelerator, a connected devices startup accelerator powered by Techstars, one of the premier pre-/seed stage startup accelerators in the country.

I hope you caught my sarcasm there.

What was a post-Series A company doing entering a seed stage accelerator, never mind applying and hoping for acceptance into one? Some of these answers are deeply personal to our business and have to do with the particularities of the R/GA Accelerator focus: in order to understand the viability of a hardware business and its team, companies need to be further along than their softer brothers and sisters, even in just the prototyping phase. So for a company that’s obviously not hardware, what can we say we got out of the experience?

Let’s explore the more universal answers to these questions, so maybe we can help you consider your own unconventional startup resources on the path to success. Because sometimes you can get off the ground, you just need a little jet fuel to fly.

Why An Accelerator? Why Now?

  1. The Power of Brand

Techstars and R/GA are leaders in their respective industries and powerhouse brands to be reckoned with and recognized. Even when competitors speak of them, you can hear the reverence in their voice. With that said, LISNR needed a little shared brand equity. We have the unique opportunity to define a product, create a market, and build a business around a proprietary technology that we ourselves have perfected. We were sore for some awareness, vertically and horizontally across markets and verticals. Being backed by these brands fortified our own brand, in the face of our target market, end users, clients, potential investors, and even competitors.

2.   It’s Not Too Late for Fundamentals

Do you ever see your company how it could be more often than what it is? It’s a great concept, you have a great team, the product has sold and is getting traction, but things could be better. Maybe management isn’t talking enough, or stepping up to the plate. Product market fit doesn’t seem to be informing your decisions as you expect, and the product roadmap is stalled by conflicting goals and interests. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and find the cancer, something very hard with a business that has already put the rubber to the road. This is a chance to revisit some of the fundamentals and the early issues that could be coming back to haunt your success. If nothing else, for a later stage company, going back to the basics and applying some foundation principles to growth and scale might just be a perspective you need.

3.   Going Fast and Slow

Since we knew we needed to revisit some fundamentals, we then also knew we needed to be conscious of the business that was already in motion. Joining R/GA and Techstars enabled us to focus on growing and strengthening LISNR without absorbing the risk that comes with having more than one company focus. We are a client-oriented, sales driven company. If everyone from the CEO to the intern is not aligned under that culture, business suffers. R/GA and Techstars provided us the support and the roadmap to take on business and product development that we would have had to have done ourselves, alone and without guidance, opening us up to derision and possible detriment to the company.

What Did We Learn?

1.   You Are Not An Island

Techstars is a mentor-driven startup accelerator. It differentiates and prides itself on providing startups with what they really need to succeed: a little cash and mentorship from individuals with deep industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience. For a long time, LISNR operated as an island. We did not leverage the large network we had amassed strategically or intentionally. It wasn’t done with ill will: sometimes when your head is down, and as an entrepreneur you’re used to doing things by yourself, it’s hard to know when and how to ask for help. Forming to the Techstars model, we had have and use mentors. The growth and knowledge base thus far has been exponential. LISNR curated four top mentors across verticals and channels that speak directly to our market. We are in the process of closing deals we would have never had the access or insight to do before.

2.   Prospects Won’t Buy Your Product, You Have To Sell It

LISNR didn’t intend for this, but after two years of being intimately involved with a pretty cool inaudible “data over audio” smart tone solution, we started expecting our prospects to buy our product without us selling it. We would barrell into meetings and talk about sexy features and functions, but forget to speak to the target about their problems and how we were a solution for those needs. We weren’t placing ourselves in the market or in their value chain, and the results saw inconsistent sales targets and closes. By refocusing on the art of selling, we were also able to catch some superfluous product features, strengthen our roadmap with more aligned product offerings, and find a better pricing model that lets us better predict income.

3.    Align Your Goals Across The Whole Business

The core offering R/GA brings to the relationship with Techstars is the ability for the startups to partner with the R/GA services teams. These are the same teams that work with global Fortune 500 companies and help build multimillion dollar brands. Our services team had a business objective and a product objective, but made it clear that goals of both projects needed to be aligned in order for one to support the other. To be transparent, we rallied around “shortening the sales cycle” and then built a business solution and a product solution that worked in tandem to support that end. It really helps in moments of decision making, across all of our functions, to go back to that one goal as ask ourselves, from the CEO to the intern, “is this getting us to a shorter sales cycle? How?”.

If you want to learn more about our experience in the R/GA Accelerator, our thoughts on the accelerator model, or learn more about Techstars, drop me an email: jillian@lisnr.com

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.