QR codes might receive some competition in the form of inaudibly high-pitched audio signals that appear within music or other audio tracks, assuming a startup known as SonicNotify have their way. Assuming a compatible app hears that particular signal, it will trigger any available smartphone function in order to link you to the designated website, show off the right kind of text, bring up map locations, display a photo, and even let you place a vote on which song a performer plays next – amongst numerous others. In order to interact using SonicNotify, fans will be able to use any SonicNotify-enabled app.
According to Jesse Israel, co-founder of Cantora Records + Labs, “[SonicNotify] transmits a high-frequency sound wave through speakers — we can’t hear the frequency but smartphones can hear it, so we’re able to unlock content at live events, TV shows and through the web. We’ve closed deals with Lady Gaga [the deal is not done; Israel now says the company is “working with” Gaga] for The Monster Ball Tour [which ran from 2009 to 2011], we’re doing Coachella, we’re doing stuff for Fashion Week next week powering 32 stages, college sports, partnerships with Twitter and Spotify — so it’s kind of a cool example of how we’re able to put pieces together and help a technology get off the ground.”
One thing’s for sure – it will not get the same kind of visual attention that QR codes can.