Lisnr’s data-over-audio technology aims to replace QR code scanning, NFC reports that a startup called Lisnr wants to replace NFC and QR codes with a new technology that sends data over audio — a communication protocol it’s calling Smart Tone. The technology it’s invented can be used across a number of applications, including point-of-sale transactions, ticketing and authentication, offline messaging, device to device connectivity and more.

The idea for Lisnr comes from co-founder and CEO Rodney Williams. Though not an engineer himself, his background at Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble and elsewhere exposed him to technology and taught him the value of patents and IP. He had an idea about it should work, versus how it’s working today, and saw the opportunity to make something better.

“We’ve created all these advanced technologies and experiences on top of these old protocols,” Williams explains. “The frustration was really that today we create products and services around the limitations of technology…I felt like if we could create a better connector, we could extract the best consumer experience.”


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