Your Starbucks runs and concert visits will soon be more interactive.
Imagine the luxury of walking into a coffee shop and receiving a personalized drink deal on your smartphone or tablet upon entry. Or, receiving an automated mobile thank-you note for watching a film, exactly an hour after leaving the theater.
Thanks to Sonic Notify technology, activated by audio, our smartphones are getting smarter. So smart, in fact, they’re interacting with elements in your surroundings to bring you relevant media. By installing Sonic technology into apps, companies can trigger mobile notifications at precise times or specific locations.
Co-founders Jonathan Glanz and Alex Bell started developing the unique audio-to-mobile technology in 2011. A year later, brands and entertainers can engage with customers using the patent-pending Sonic technology. The next time you’re standing in the dairy aisle deciding between ice cream flavors, don’t be surprised if you receive mobile recommendations and discounts from a tech-savvy brand.
The sound-triggered technology allows precise delivery of content to mobile devices within apps, Sonic Notify EVP Ross Weinstein tells Mashable. Sonic technology can be integrated into in-store radio broadcasts, TV shows, movies, sporting events or live concerts. The triggering sound, imperceptible to human ears, can also play from discreetly placed devices.
“Anywhere audio is being broadcast, there’s an opportunity for content to be delivered,” Weinstein says.
Sonic Notify’s clients can choose to push out mobile content at a specific time and location. Musicians can push out exclusive media to an entire stadium of fans. Stores can wait to engage customers standing in front of a specific product.
How the Technology Works
Companies and brands interested in Sonic technology should have mobile apps. Installing the Sonic Notify technology into said app is simple. All clients have to do is install Sonic’s SDK — a software kit the company provides — into their app. It’s as easy as adding an extra line of code.
“Anyone can download our SDK and install it into their app whether, it’s a Linkin Park, a Madonna, a sports team or an Epicurious,” Weinstein says. “Name the app and they can all put it in there.”
The next step is to incorporate an imperceptible Sonic sound into your in-store radio, television show, live concert or PA announcement.
“The user can say, ‘I want to deliver these pieces of content at this particular point in time to this particular app or apps,’” Weinstein says. “They take the audio file that we provide, and they mix that into their media.”
Once the Sonic SDK is installed into your app, a user with the mobile app will be able to receive sound-triggered updates. A wireless web connection and GPS capabilities are rarely needed for successful media transmission.
Who’s Already Using Sonic
Sonic works well for live events such as sporting events or concerts. Tech-savvy pop diva Lady Gaga uses Sonic Notify to connect with concert goers. Fans can vote for an encore song and see exclusive images during the show.
It also works well for pre-recorded shows. As long as the Sonic sound is integrated into the show, the consumer’s smartphone or tablet will be able to receive content.
“The phone will receive content as long as it’s got an app with our Sonic Notify SDK in it,” he says. “If the app is open, it will receive content. If the app is not open and running in the background, the user will still receive content and … a push notification.”
For the near 12-person team based in New York, it’s all about perfecting this engagement platform. They’re also focused on building accompanying metric systems to measure success.
“The unique piece is the audio that we provide that basically delivers content to the smartphone. It creates a unique experience,” he says.
For the future, the Sonic Notify team hopes to be the go-to user engagement tool. The team hopes to be ubiquitous across all apps in as many places that have speakers and microphones as possible.
Do you think integration of mobile technology with our surroundings will increase in popularity? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.