When exploring the current applications of data-over-sound, it’s hard to not spend some time going through its history. In the first part of our two-part series on data-over-sound, we highlight key historical moments and milestones in the evolution of data-over-sound innovation. From the first telephone machine, to ultrasonic waves, to dial tones, to wifi, and most recently to LISNR’s KAB® data-over-sound, the applications of data-over-sound are expanding rapidly.

1636 – Marin Mersenne (a.k.a. the Father of Acoustics) presented the first evidence of the frequency of an audible tone (at 84 Hz) in Harmonie Universelle.

1843 – The first experimental facsimile (fax) machine was invented by Alexander Bain.

1850’s – John LeConte began the study of ultrasonics with his technique for observing the existence of ultrasonic waves using a gas flame.

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

1877 – Thomas Alva Edison was the first to record and playback human voice on a phonograph.

1898 – Nikola Tesla demonstrated one of the world’s first wireless remotes to control and direct a miniature boat’s rudder and propeller.

1908 – The dial tone was invented; later it was used to indicate an available line and the phone was ready to make a call.

1919 – Rotary dialing was introduced to eliminate the need for an operator – the dialing wheel interrupted the current to create pulses that corresponded to the digits of the “dialed” number.

1941 – Hedy Lamarr was co-awarded a patent for “Spectrum Spread Communications,” which formed the backbone for modern communication protocols such as Wi-Fi and cellular.

1956 – Zenith “Space Command” TV remote control used ultrasound waves to change channels; a different sound controlled a receiver unit built into the television.

1963 – The first push-button phone with touch-tone dialing was introduced.

1965 – The first dial-up connection was made between a computer in Massachusetts and a computer in California.

1969 – The first professional wireless network was developed at the University of Hawaii.

1973 – Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) transmission began.

1977 – The first PC modem automatically dialed and switched between data and command modes.

1980 – ITU G3 Facsimile Standard was developed, making it possible for fax transmissions over phone lines to become a regular form of communication.

1982 – The compact disc (CD) was introduced, making digital recordings widely available.

1997 – The first MP3 player was developed.

2012 – LISNR introduced the world’s first inaudible data-over-audio tone.

2015 – LISNR launched its developer portal and data-over-audio SDK, allowing the LISNR tone to be embedded directly into software applications.

2017 – LISNR announced the first global deployment of any data-over-audio solution as audio replaces the ticket for the world’s largest ticketing company, Ticketmaster.

2017 – LISNR announced the evolution of their technology called KAB® (KAudioBit), at 5x the throughout of previously available technologies (and 30x the nearest competition). This is a big technological advancement with the first 1,000 bits/sec audio solution in the world. This makes LISNR the first truly viable data-over-audio solution for secure data transmission across a multitude of use cases, from mobile payment, to mobile ticketing, to authentication, and more.

The future of data-over-sound is largely unwritten and here at LISNR, we are excited to partner with companies that want to connect and communicate more effectively. Next week we’ll introduce the key data-over-sound vocabulary that you need to know to be able to fully understand the technology and its applications.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about LISNR is changing customer journey and payments with data-over-sound.

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