Chirp Lets Machines Sing to Communicate



The wonderful world of sound is really buzzing these days and the possibilities in terms of applying sound in smart, relevant and fun ways seem endless.

An app that I’m really fond of is called Chirp. It enables you to share stuff like links, pictures, contacts and notes – using sound. Chirp basically sings information from one phone to another.

A Chirp is transmitted from your built-in speaker to any other loudspeaker that listens. Any device running the Chirp app can ‘hear’ and make sense of the data.

Sound is a very flexible medium. Since little bits of data is transferred as sound, more than one person can receive a chirp at once. You can send a chirp over a PA system, over the radio, or via a YouTube video. The options are numerous.

So how does it work? The Chirp team explains:

“You can think of a chirp as a tiny piece of music. Each chirp lasts about two seconds. The system listens out for a couple of dozen notes played rapidly in a certain order, within a certain range, at a certain speed. The audio engine tries to decode the sequence of notes into a sequence of letters which our server understands. The server then returns a link to the user so they can go wherever the short code points: to a webpage, say. This decode all happens in realtime on your phone.”

If you’re interested in learning more about how the technology works, see here.

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