Chirp App Sends Smartphone Data via 'Digital Birdsong' Software developed by the British company, Animal Systems (a business spin-off from the University College London) has been used in a new app named ‘Chirp’, which transmits data between phones via a two second burst of ‘digital birdsong.’ The noise transmitted is the encoded location of the file stored on a cloud server, which when heard by other smartphones will initiate an automatic download of the image of file that is to be shared. The chirp is composition of 20 tones, each of which represents a different character. Patrick Bergel the Chief Executive Office and Founder of Animal Systems explained that a lot of time was spent to create a noise that was “sweet and discreet” and in order to protect the technology, they have a systems patent that moves short codes over the air.
The technology will currently allow you to share pictures, text messages (up to a one hundred and forty character limit) and website links. It is already possible to share data with other apps including; Bump, Datasynch and Dropbox which utilise Bluetooth, wi-fi or cloud-based storage links. However, if you need to send the same information to multiple smartphones, Chirp will allow you to do this quickly using just soundwaves and without the need to have the devices paired as you would with Bluetooth or the need for a wireless connection. If the devices are offline when the ‘chirp’ is sent it will be remembered and downloaded once back online.
Although the chirp is relatively quiet, it’s a distinctive noise which enables it to be heard whilst in a pub, café or whilst walking down a busy street and it can even be used over a loud speaker or on the radio, potentially opening up a whole new way of communicating with a group of people or for promoting new products.
The challenge for the team of five behind Animal Systems is to differentiate the Chirp app from other apps that do a similar thing but in a different way and to increase the number of subscribed users. They say that their ultimate goal would be to license the technology so that smartphone manufacturers could pre-install the Chirp app onto their devices before sale, but in the meantime they would be happy for the words “to chirp” to become part of our day to day vocabulary in the same way that Facebook and Twitter have.
The app itself is free to download, but is currently only available for iPhones, with an Android version in the pipeline which is expected to launch sometime soon. Remember though, if you plan to give it a try, you’ll also need to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do so too or else you’ll find you have no-one to chirp with.
If you would like to upgrade to a smartphone to be able to benefit from this free app and other paid for apps, why not sell your mobile through an online auction site or look at what mobile trade-in deals are available.