Ultrasonic Soundwaves Create Touch-Free Tech Solutions

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Ultrasonic Soundwaves Create Touch-Free Tech Solutions

Israeli company Sonarax Technologies uses deep-tech ultrasonic connectivity to create touchless solutions to help prevent COVID-19 transmission.

· IoT Zone ·
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Social distancing and isolation have become our reality, quickly changing the way we go about our daily routines, from how we shop to how we work. The world is searching for new ways to limit our exposure and stop the spread of COVID-19. I recently saw a photo of an elevator in an apartment block in China. 

A Chinese apartment highrise could consist of over 30 floors, so walking isn't an option, but how do you operate a lift without touching the buttons? The property manager stuck a sponge to the wall, and it was stuck with toothpicks for button-pushing. An ingenious DIY hack, but what if there was another way to create contactless connections using technology? 

Israeli company Sonarax Technologies uses deep-tech ultrasonic connectivity to create touchless solutions to help prevent COVID-19 transmission through shared public touch screens.

Sonarax's technology uses ultrasonic audio waves to transfer data between any devices equipped with a speaker or microphone and Sonarax's SDK. This enables standard mobile phones to exchange data ultrasonically with any device outfitted with a speaker or microphone, as are most touchpads on access-control and attendance devices. I spoke to Nimrod May, Sonorax's Chief Commercial Officer, and Ariel Ben Lulu, Sonorax's VP Product, to find out more. 

touch-free technology

Nimrod explained that their M2M solution could be used for a range of opportunities, such as mobile payments, authentication, and IoT connectivity. "Employees can effectively punch a timeclock. "We've been used in a University in Spain to verify student attendance in class. Our SDK is implemented into their mobile app and the university's role call platform on classroom touchpads."

The company also uses sound waves "to identify positioning, direction, basically facilitating indoor navigation without the need for a cellular network or wifi. It's been used in museums, and to create a sonic light show during a basketball game." 

The tech can work everywhere, including noisy environments and underground where cellular and wifi may not. According to Nimrod, the transmissions are indiscernible to the human ear (or dogs for that matter) . "A big issue is the speed at which we can transmit data. We can transmit 1,000 bits per second, while our competitors can only transmit 200 bits per second."

COVID-19 Provides the Potential for Mass Adoption

As a result of COVID19, the tech has really come into its own. In terms of contract tracing, ultrasonic waves can't cross walls so you don't have the false positives of Bluetooth apps to measure contact. "The tech can be used in fingerprint readers and door lever and built into hardware. The company has had interest from semiconductor companies, and those making elevators, arcade games, and control gates."

They're in talks with Governments to implement the ultrasonic solution in health care settings to measure distances between doctors and patients. Nimrod explained: 

"These days, a mobile phone is your third hand. 99.9% of people in a hospital are using their mobile phones. Most health care companies have their own app, but we also have embedded solutions for hardware and mobile phones. We work in a variety of coding languages, and we're not limited to iOS and Android. Ultrasonic waves offer a more affordable solution to Bluetooth, in a huge variety of M2M use cases."

In terms of social distancing monitoring, Ariel explained: 

"Soundwaves can measure distance and positioning. That facilitates anyone launching an app to make sure people are maintaining proper social distance. Our SDK would calibrate the parameter and notify people if they are crossing the line."

A New Kind of Contact Tracing App

Contact Tracing App

The company is also unveiling SONAR-X, a contact tracing app that uses sound waves while maintaining full data privacy and greater accuracy. The contact tracing app:

  • Alerts users whenever the 2-meter barrier is breached or they encounter someone with the virus — with greater accuracy than Google and Apple's Bluetooth-based solution
  • Maintains users' privacy by having all data remain on the user's mobile phone
  • Protects user confidentiality when a user marks him/herself as infected, only "Unique ID," "TimeSpan," and "Distance Maintenance" are shared anonymously to report back to other users who have been exposed earlier.
bluetooth ,contact tracing ,covid-19 ,iot ,m2m ,sdk

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