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When we think of sound, we typically think of music.  But what about sounds we as humans can’t hear?  Do those inaudible sounds have any real use cases for us and if they do what are they?  One Cincinnati-based startup, Lisnr, thinks its found the perfect use case for such inaudible sounds.

The idea behind Lisnr is simple: reach customers at relevant times.  But how do you reach customers when it makes sense for you as a brand but also for them as a customer? That’s a problem that has been harder to solve.  When it comes to companies who advertise on TV, it’s a matter of just getting your product in front of as many people as possible. Google’s search ads have done wonders for targeted ads, showing relevant ads to people based on their searches.  However, while this kind of thing has worked well online it hasn’t really transferred back over into the offline world.  And that’s where Lisnr’s inaudible sounds or what they refer to as beacons come into play.

These inaudible beacons can be used to deliver content to a users smartphone.  Once you have embedded these inaudible beacons into sound waves and a user has the app installed, any sound with those beacons embedded in it can be used to deliver content. The app works in the background and will push content to the phone—and the content can be anything, from behind the scenes footage, videos, photos, to a message.

One of the most interesting use cases of Lisnr came from the band Swedish House Mafia, who at one of their last performances emitted a beacon and pushed a light show to each concert-goers smartphone, essentially turning the audience into the a light show that was synced with the concert.  That’s very cool and you can watch the video of it below.

Another recent use case of Lisnr technology was for the release of J Cole’s latest album. With Lisnr, J Cole was able to hold worldwide listening parties.  Everyone who came to a listening party would download the app and the beacon would be emitted, then the album was pushed as a live stream right to their phone (which could only be listened to at the event location).  The success of the listening parties helped boost the album’s sales from an estimated 100k to 297k.

As you might imagine, Lisnr is working with a lot of artists, but the company also has plans to expand beyond just music.  They want to get into retail, sports, and other forms of entertainment as well.  With interest from small boutiques in New York City to larger national retailers, you may soon be shopping in a store and receive a notification from Lisnr–where it delivers some kind of coupon or deal.

You can download Lisnr today for iOS or Android.

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