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Goodbye NFC, Hello Audio Technology

Since smartphones and tablets became mainstream, we have seen the emergence of new technologies that promised to make the data exchanges fast, and secure between devices.

Who could forget the Infrared and Bluetooth technologies that were groundbreaking features back in 2000? QR code was also a hit a few years back that made Blackberry Messenger a popular messaging app across different mobile operating systems. Nowadays, most mobile devices are leveraging near field communication (NFC) that opened the door for mobile payments to be widely accepted by modern day users.

However, the adoption rate of the NFC technology is still low. There are several reasons why NFC has stopped gaining traction worldwide, such as hardware costs, fragmentation, and security issues. While NFC offers fast peer-to-peer data transfer, security remains one of its biggest issues. In today’s tech-dependent world, security risks are prioritized and something that continues to be ignored by new technologies. With it, there’s a good chance that near field communication will soon be replaced by a more secure data transferring platform in the form of inaudible sound technology.

LISNR is an ultrasonic audio technology – a communication protocol that uses software and sound to securely transmit customizable streams of data every second. This proprietary technology uses audio that is just above the human hearing range, called ‘Smart Tones’,to enable proximity engagement with audience measurement, seamless & secure methods of authentication, as well as device to device data transmission for automation and connectivity. What makes LISNR secure is it’s ability to transmit data in an offline environment – meaning no device pairing, wifi, or data connectivity required. Additionally, LISNR combines single use tones with metadata, tokenization and encryption to ensure a completely secure data transmission.

The inaudible technology will be highly beneficial to modern day mobile device users, even the enterprise sector. Being able to send files safely, securely, and quickly is exactly what most businesses look for in mobile technologies.

Mobile device usage in the enterprise is rising due to the need for secure data transfers especially when handling sensitive corporate files. Large screened tablets like the iPad are being used as a productivity tool that encourages employees to work on the go and remotely. Digital firm O2 mentioned in an article listing all of the iPad’s features that it’s a “perfect partner for business…[with its] fast wireless connectivity.”

If Apple uses sonar technology to replace its wireless data transferring software, then there’s more reason for enterprises to embrace mobile devices. And it wouldn’t be surprising if they looked at applying the technology soon, as the company has already reportedly filed a patent describing an ‘audio hyperlink’ that can control devices with inaudible sonic pulses. However, Apple is yet to speak about the subject publically.

Aside from being a secure alternative to NFC, LISNR Smart Tones can be widely embraced by modern day tech users as they offer a simple yet robust solution that works seamlessly across all platforms. There’s a growing demand for cross-platform communication. This makes LISNR a reliably scalable solution that can be easily integrated with any existing application or platform. Additionally, audio frequencies are significantly more versatile than radio frequencies – given that most products are already built for voice and sound. Leveraging the existing speaker and microphone infrastructure within an environment, LISNR Smart Tones can be transmitted and decoded by any device without server calls or recording audio like other services.

Inaudible technology isn’t new to the market, as it is a tried and platform which has been in operation for several years. But, its most recent success was seen with the release of the Smart Tone Ticketing, a low cost technology that offers offline authentication, personalized experience, and frictionless check-in processes for every user at the 2016 TechStars FounderCon in Cincinnati.

With its security risks similar to the other data transferring platforms of the past, there’s a huge probability that NFC terminals will fade out and inaudible technology will be ushered in because it is a safe, cost-efficient, and innovative solution in information transmission.

Written exclusively for LISNR by TechieJen.