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SonoBeacon, developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology, is joining the EIT Digital Accelerator to increase its market reach in Germany and other European countries. The solution makes use of the audio technology available in every smart device to turn it into a platform of personalised information right at the point of interest.

SonoBeacon can transmit any kind of information from news to special offers in close range with unmatched technical accuracy. Together with the Accelerator team, the company plans to build its market footprint to win new customers in the retail, entertainment, fitness, public transport and cultural sectors.

Closing the gap between the analogue and digital worlds

The innovative technology allows smartphones to deliver point-of-interest information to individual users by emitting a digital signal in ultrasound. The combination of localised delivery of targeted information and the potential increase in customer interaction opens up countless possibilities to promote products and services at the point of sale. This unique offer answers a strong demand from retail and culture sectors, where there is great interest in closing the gap between the analogue and digital worlds.

The range of applications is almost unlimited, according to the company founder Thoralf Nehls: “Wherever organisations operate intensive customer communications, this innovative audio technology can meaningfully help. In its startup phase, SonoBeacon GmbH will concentrate on the areas of retail, culture, entertainment and public transport.”

SonoBeacon can be used at any point of interest

SonoBeacon works by generating an inaudible high-frequency signal, which is transmitted by supplied hardware or an existing audio source. A SonoBeacon-enabled app detects the high-frequency signal and triggers an interaction with the user. With two different products based on the same SonoBeacon technology, the solution enables clients from different industries to push context-sensitive content to their users at any point of interest.

We are very keen to support SonoBeacon in their endeavours to expand their business internationally. The EIT Digital Accelerator has a specialised ‘Access to Market’ service for fast-growing scaleups. SonoBeacon is a perfect fit, as its solution will meet the demand for local promotion of news and special offers in various sectors. We have already identified organisations that are highly interested in meeting with Thoralf Nehls and his team,” says Wolfgang Kniejski, EIT Digital’s Access to Market Lead for Digital Infrastructure Technologies.

The EIT Digital Accelerator supports European digital technology ventures to scale up in Europe and beyond by helping to secure target customers and raise capital. A team of experienced business developers and finance experts operate from 13 cities across Europe as well as a hub in San Francisco. Since 2012, the team has supported more than 250 startups to access new markets and helped them raise more than €90 million in investment.

About SonoBeacon

SonoBeacon GmbH was founded in 2013. The energy-efficient battery-powered SonoBeacon transmits an inaudible acoustic identifier (digital signal in ultrasound). The smartphone recognises the signal via its microphone and an installed app. Information such as contextual content is displayed on the smartphone to trigger customer interactions and enable countless applications.

Only SonoBeacon can accurately locate in close range (0 to 10 meters), provide an automated and personalised approach and engineer desired user-interactions. SonoBeacon makes the smartphone a personal source of information and a shopping solution.

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Co-Funded by the European Union