With Lisnr, Ticketmaster could soon use audio data as your ticket to a concert

We’ve gone from paper to mobile, and now, it looks like we’re going from mobile to aural. Thanks to a new partnership between Ticketmaster and data-over-audio company Lisnr, you may soon be able to gain access to concerts and other events using nothing more than an audio broadcast from your smartphone. Lisnr’s new “smart tones” technology purports to transmit data between devices, which could mean the end to long queues and impatient fans.

So how does this newfangled technology work? In essence, via the smart tones Lisnr transmits live in the 18.75 kHZ to 19.2 kHZ range, which makes them totally inaudible to over 90 percent of humans. But digital devices are capable of hearing these distinct sound patterns and using them to confirm your identity. When you’re attempting to get into a concert with smart tones, you’ll just take out your phone, have it broadcast your unique audio signal, and if everything matches, you’ll be seamlessly admitted.

But wait, you say. Why would this be more efficient than, say, QR codes or the existing scannable technology? According to Lisnr, it all comes down to costs. As Venturebeat reports, “comparatively little expenditure is required to support smart tones in terms of venue infrastructure.” Moreover, Lisnr’s smart tones apparently also prevent fraud. Because these audio tickets are not only attached to an individual person, but also to his or her smartphone, you can’t just transfer tickets from person to person all willy nilly. That means that ticket vendors like Ticketmaster can be certain of exactly who did and didn’t attend an event, and this also gives the company more control over resales (as customers won’t be able to arbitrarily pawn their audio tickets off to friends or strangers).

But beyond the logistics of the platform, Lisnr and Ticketmaster say this new tech can give customers “deeply personalized experiences.”

“We used identity as our North Star — our guiding light to develop a product that makes each individual fan experience the greatest it could be,” Justin Burleigh, executive vice president of product at Ticketmaster, told Venturebeat. “This means using identity to drive customized experiences based on who you are and where you are, eliminating fraud, resulting in a safer environment, and delivering more personalization based on the specific event you’re attending.”

Indeed, the hope is that Lisnr will soon be implemented in much more than just concert venues. Already, the company has partnered with Jaguar Land Rover to allow cars to communicate with smartphones, other cars, and even the environment at large.


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