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The Importance of Innovation & Creativity

Smart Tone Types

A quick guide to the different types of LISNR Smart Tones™

To stay relevant in today’s highly competitive and ever-evolving landscape, businesses must capitalize on opportunities to innovate. This includes being strategic about which technologies they adopt.

At the forefront of the Internet of Sound revolution, LISNR provides a cutting-edge technology that is just as unique as it is useful. The world’s most advanced high frequency “data over audio” technology, Smart Tones connect mobile apps and devices with more efficiency, scalability, and customizability than ever before. By integrating this ultrasonic communication protocol with their software programs, LISNR users are able to create contextually relevant engagements, seamless authentication & transaction process, and offline communication capabilities that deliver significantly better experiences than would otherwise be possible.

Recent enhancements were made to the LISNR Application Performance Interface as well as the customer portal to democratize Smart Tones, ensuring that more people would be able to use them in ways that are most meaningful to them – and their customers. LISNR offers three types of Smart Tones: ID Tones, Text Tones, and Data Tones. The LISNR CMS offers customers the ability to streamline LISNR functionalities using ID & Text Tones while version 2 of the LISNR API allows developers to easily works with all three types of Smart Tones. In addition, LISNR allows you to create these different tone types using a variety of codecs, which include WAV, MP3, and AAC-LC.

Three types of Smart Tones: Differences and benefits

These tones can be played and received by devices with microphone and speaker functionality – without the need for Wi-Fi connectivity or additional hardware – and can be used to power different experiences within the same application. What distinguishes them from one another, though, is that they each have their own identifier, as well as specific use cases they work particularly well in.

Gaining a better understanding of how each tone functions in various environments makes it easy to see how the technology can help you produce unique, personalized, relevant and engaging device-to-device communications.

ID Tones
In every industry, a huge part of successfully reaching target audiences is making sure the message is delivered at precisely the right time – which is why the value of ID Tones is so inclusive. They are best used for timing, 2nd screen, and proximity-based activations. ID Tones help with everything from alerting a retail customer of a discount at a pivotal point in their shopping experience to keeping concert-goers connected and updated on event details.

ID Tones carry a payload of a tone-specific ToneID, as well as an incrementing iteration Index that detects each time a new version of the tone is played. Put simply, when a listening device detects a tone with a matching API key, it generates the related content specified by app users – be it a video, picture, message, URL or other types of content. Businesses in retail, entertainment, broadcast, and sports industries (among many others) can leverage ID Tones for:

  • Special promotions
  • Digital signage
  • Coupons
  • Discounts

ID tones are also particularly useful for second-screen synchronization in broadcasting. Users can create perfectly timed multimedia experiences for both live and pre-recorded events.

Text Tones
Text Tones allow organizations to quickly and efficiently deliver relevant, real-time messages to their audience – completely offline. The tone’s payload carries the text directly to the SDK. Because the communication only occurs through the tones, no server calling is necessary. The inaudible sound is the medium for the data transfer.

Text Tones support up to 255 bytes of ASCII text, which is perfect for emergency alerts, event updates, welcome messages and other types of notifications. These types of tones are the most simplistic variation of the technology yet play a significant role in enhancing customer experiences.

Whether the intent is to inform, entertain or engage, Text Tones enable users to send pertinent information at the most critical moments.

Data Tones
LISNR supports tone payloads between 1 and 255 bytes, with Data Tones usually falling on the higher end of that scale. The most sophisticated of the tone types, Data Tones are primarily used for authentication purposes, including:

  • Ticketing
  • Internet-of-Things devices
  • Automobile connectivity
  • Payments and transactions
  • Access and security

Between keyless building security, connected cars, and venue check-in services, it’s hard to come across an industry or business environment where Data Tones don’t offer incredible value. Using a safe and secure offline data transfer protocol, Data Tones allow users to automate the in-person authentication process for quicker validation, increased control and customization, better integration and heightened security. 

If you’re interested in trying out some of our new functionalities, you can request access by Clicking Here!