There are lots of different ways to embed and extract meaning from a piece of sound. Chirp uses audio data encoding — or modulation/demodulation. Data is encoded into a series of pitches and tones on the sending device, and decoded on the receiving device.
Audio data encoding — or modulation/demodulation — is a technology that has been used since the early days of radio communication. Strengths: It does not require an existing audio signal to operate on. Instead, data is encoded by generating a new signal whose properties are determined by the data to be transmitted. Information can be encoded and decoded in real-time, without any external components such as a look-up database. It’s a good fit for compact, dynamic payloads, which means it’s appropriate for creating network-like communication links between devices. It has a relatively high throughput making it suitable for security-critical applications such as exchanging authentication or payment tokens.
Chirp technology is available in both audible and inaudible (ultrasound) across our full product suite. Here are some advantages, limitations, and potential use cases of each
There are several advantages to using audible sound to transfer data. These include: - It’s more widely supported than ultrasound. Audible methods of data transfer work across a wider range of devices and media than ultrasound (e.g. AM/FM/DAB radio, many online video streaming sites, telephones, etc). - It’s able to carry more data. Audible can transmit the greatest amount of data reliably because it uses a wider frequency spectrum than ultrasound. - It works well in a wide variety of environments. Audible is robust and reliable in the most challenging acoustic environments. - It is audible. Audible is honest and transparent. The data transfer is heard. Some typical use cases for audible technology are: - Embedding into AM/FM/DAB radio broadcast and some online video platforms which strip out ultrasonic frequencies. - Broadcasting over loudspeakers or PA systems to a fleet of machines or devices. - Communicating with old, basic or lo-fi audio equipment. - Scenarios where larger amounts of data must be sent to devices which are offline, such as transmitting video game characters and trading cards.
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