Chirp app sends smartphone data via sound
July 23 , 2012
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.