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Chirp app sends smartphone data via sound

  • A new app has been launched that transmits data via a burst of "digital birdsong", aiming to simplify the way users share images and files between smartphones.

    Chirp plays a two-second long noise that resembles robotic bird call. When heard by other devices it triggers a download.

    The software was developed by Animal Systems, a spin-off business from University College London.

    Currently users are limited to sending pictures, website links or 140-character text messages that appear in a feed similar to Facebook's timeline.

    However, Chirp has the advantage that it can send data to multiple devices without them needing to be paired or have a wireless connection.

    If recipients are offline their devices will remember the "chirp" and can download the content later.

    The app works by uploading a user's material to the firm's servers. The data is then identified with a 50-bit address space.

    This location is then sent to the sender's device and when the user presses a button in the app it plays an audio-encoded version of the address.

    The app is free to use but companies will be charged for add-on services.

    For now Chirp is only available as an iPhone app. An Android version is due to be launched soon.