Many devices and apps are on the verge of enormous breakthroughs with the advent of Near Field Communication (NFC), and now Zoosh ultrasonic technology can provide the benefits of NFC by using just the speaker and microphone already inside mobile devices.

Developed by Naratte Inc., a start-up based in Silicon Valley, this new technology will communicate data in high-pitched frequencies that are inaudible to humans. They use perishable transaction IDs for security, and only work very short-range to eliminate the possibility of other “listening” devices.

Since the microphone and speaker are intrinsic to the cell phone, with just one software update the already Zoosh-capable phones and apps can securely transfer data between millions of devices already being used by consumers. Additionally, Naratte has designed plugins for point of sale terminals that range from free to as little as $30, compared to $100-$850 for NFC.

NFC has so much potential, and not only by sending over secure payments, which is what everyone seems to be wrapped up in especially with all that Google Wallet brouhaha. After speaking with the owners and founders of Zoosh technology, CEO Brett Paulson and CDO Byron Alsberg, the vision of Zoosh technology has become a lot clearer and the possibilities even more boundless than imagined.

How it will work

Zoosh is not an app or a device, rather a software that other apps can implement in order to wirelessly and securely (and noiselessly) send over any information they would like.

A good example would be if you went to a conference and enjoyed a presentation. “Imagine, you chat up the presenter and take out your phones to exchange contact information, but instead of typing, you hold your phones together and futuristically beam his phone number and presentation straight into your phone,” says Alsberg. “In just a few seconds you can have everything you need.”

In a slightly different scenario, you can, for example, do the same to friend someone on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or even share pictures or other files on your phone.

Who will Zoosh?

Naratte has already been in talks with many companies who plan on implementing Zoosh technology into their apps, so with just an update those apps will be ready to go.

Naratte has already paired up with SparkBase, a white label loyalty program company, with their introduction of Paycloud, a mobile wallet for loyalty and gift card programs. Now you can forget about filling out application forms and carrying yet another loyalty card in your wallet, Zoosh will power Paycloud to allow you to enroll in a store’s loyalty programs and receive gift cards with just one click at the POS. Also, the card will be stored in your phone and automatically applied every time you make a purchase there.

Communicating offline

You already knew about the potential of NFC since it’s been all over finance blogs and websites. But the company did not want Zoosh to be limited by pesky nuisances like not having reception, such as traveling on a plane or subway. This is what really sets Zoosh apart and in fact adds a whole new dimension of communication to the smartphone that people never really thought possible.

When people step out of service range, they tend to shut their phones deeming them useless (or play some Angry Birds). Since Zoosh uses ultrasonic technology, the data can be sent and received without a signal. That means all the examples stated above, as well as countless others, are possible with or without service, even outside of the country.

Zoosh is all about creating a new and unique user experience that can send and receive messages regardless of the current data service status. For example, when you send an email the internet does all the work, but when you Zoosh, the device itself becomes the vehicle of data transport. Ultrasonic frequencies have nothing to do with the internet, making your smartphone a limitless tool of data sharing, social networking and one-click transactions.

Even more possibilities to think about

Zoosh doesn’t stop at phone to phone or phone to POS communication though. Since a plugin receiver is cheap and easy to install and sometimes not even necessary, you can expect to Zoosh with your laptop, vending machines and even ATMs. Imagine walking past a soda machine on a hot day, scanning your phone in front and buying a soda. No bills or change necessary.

Zoosh has been turning heads with its creative technology and tremendous potential. Once it takes off, expect to look at your smartphone in a completely different way.

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  • Vp_mktg

    Possibilities seem enormous for black hats, too.  Can you beam a virus into a phone that is not in service?  I speak out of ignorance, but the bad guys always seem to find a way to capitalize on new technology.  How do I prevent it if I turn my phone off?

    • Anonymous

      Your anxiety is not unfounded; this will create tremendous opportunities for everyone. 

      Fortunately, the app has to be actively used by both parties for any data to pass between phones. For example, when your friend hits “pay,” you have to hit “receive payment” in order for the transaction to take place. 
      Also, the phone itself has to be working to Zoosh because it uses the microphone and speaker. Therefore, if your phone is off nothing can happen.

      • Vp_mktg

        If my Blackberry is on, but in its holster and it is set so that it alerts me when I get a message, could a blackhat pop a virus into it so that when I open a particular app such as the phone, the virus unleashes?

        • Anonymous

          As stated Zoosh is not an app, rather technology that can be incorporated into an app. In your example you are worried someone might walk by and transmit a virus into your phone without you knowing, but in any case you have to accept whatever they send you, so nothing can just be transmitted into your phone without your authorization.

          As far as malicious software somehow being attached to a transmission sent over to you, Naratte guarantees security architected for sending payments so that should safely manage your transmissions.

  • Joshua Joseph

    Thanks alot Zachary, very interesting article, nice work!