Yamaha gets Fuji TV on the InfoSound bandwagon, give tablets and phones acoustic data transmission apps

Remember Yamaha's InfoSound technology? If not, well, it's a bit of black magic that shoots data wirelessly to devices using an inaudible (to humans, anyway) 18kHz signal emitted from a speaker and received via microphone. Yamaha came up with the idea back before the ubiquity of WiFi-enabled TVs, and now it's partnered up with Fuji Television Network to develop apps for phones and tablets that use the tech. Keep in mind, InfoSound has a fairly short range (33 feet) and maxes out with a data rate of only 80 bits per second, so you won't be streaming sound or video. That said, it's a fat enough pipe to send out hyperlinks, so the apps seem destined for use in retail outlets and in conjunction with digital signage to make it easy for folks to navigate to websites or receive store coupons. Further details are few and far between for now, but what info we do have can be found in the PR after the break.

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Yamaha and Fuji Television Agree to Business Alliance Toward Realizing New Smartphone Services That Utilize INFOSOUND

New Way of Transmitting Information by Audio Frequency

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yamaha Corporation (Head Office: 10-1, Nakazawa-cho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan; President: Mitsuru Umemura) announces a business alliance with Fuji Television Network Inc. (Head Office: 2-4-8 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and COO: Kou Toyoda; hereinafter, Fuji TV). The two companies have agreed to jointly develop new services in this smartphone era by leveraging INFOSOUND, Yamaha's proprietary means of transmitting digital information that uses the very high frequency sound range, and a variety of Fuji TV-provided content.

Background and Aims

Yamaha has been advancing the research and development of INFOSOUND acoustic information transmission technology since 2008. Among the benefits that the transmission of information using sound waves offers are enabling the use of acoustic equipment that is already in widespread use and making the control of the transmission area comparatively easy. INFOSOUND is expected to have applications in a wide range of fields, including usage at shops and public facilities as well as incorporation into all kinds of digital signage and music CDs. Widening INFOSOUND's application opportunities by granting Fuji TV rights to use the technology, Yamaha is targeting the realization of convenient and pleasant lifestyles.

As smartphones rapidly become more widespread and more established in people's lives, Yamaha is also taking into account the growing need for combined online-offline services in a variety of forms. Through this business alliance with Fuji TV, the technological expertise and platforms of both companies will be leveraged to the fullest extent, and they will provide services aimed at new smartphones.

Content of Business Alliance

(1) Joint development of applications for smartphones and tablet terminals that utilize INFOSOUND

(2) Examination of joint development and commercialization of other new services that utilize INFOSOUND

Based on the business alliance, Fuji TV will develop applications for smartphones that utilize INFOSOUND technologie, the details of which will be made public at IMC Tokyo 2012, to be held at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba Prefecture from June 13–15.

What Is INFOSOUND?

INFOSOUND is a proprietary Yamaha technology that transmits digital information modulated into sound signals. The use of a form of spread-spectrum system (diffusing and transmitting digital signals in a broader band) enables the transmission of data at frequencies that are almost inaudible to the human ear. The INFOSOUND system sends short information codes (acoustic IDs) from speakers that are received by the microphones in mobile terminals. By using a mechanism that in conjunction with a server converts the acoustic IDs into URL information, only users in the vicinity of the speaker are able to pick up coupons, access e-commerce sites, and receive services enabling them to do their shopping. Possessing special features that include enabling

The use of existing speakers
The simultaneous delivery of data to multiple receivers (one-to-many data delivery)
Control of the range of access by volume and speaker directionality
INFOSOUND is expected to have usage in a wide range of fields.