When you are working with a team, being on the same page is most important. Hence communication is the most important aspect of teamwork. Out of all means of digital communication available, we are going to discover an unconventional one in this post. Talking about short distance data transfer, there are quite a few common options available. They include Bluetooth, Infrared, Wi-Fi and a few more. While most of these rely on some extra hardware, there is one more mode of transfer that can happen over a pair of microphone and speakerphone. Google Tone is a very good example of an application using audio for transferring small information such as text and URLs. It is a free Chrome extension that lets you share URLs with nearby computers with help of audio. The extension plays an audio which can be recorded by nearby computers to access the URL sent.
Google Tone for Chrome browser
Tone can broadcast any URL to nearby computers using your computer’s speakers. At the same time, it can also listen to any incoming messages from other Tone users.
The extension comes very handy whenever you want to share a URL quickly with people around you. Tone can be used while delivering a presentation or a demo where sharing the URL with the audience is necessary. Tone cannot send information to phones yet, but we believe it will be available soon. For now, you can broadcast URLs only to nearby computers having Tone extension installed on Google Chrome.
Using the extension is simple enough. Just install the extension from Chrome Web Store and wait till the blue speakerphone icon appears beside the address bar. Once it is there, you can hit that icon to share the URL from your browser with nearby computers. Remember that for Google Tone to work; you must have disabled or disconnected any headphones or earphones. Once you hit the button, you will be able to hear audio from your computer which has the URL embedded in it. It is advised to use this extension when there is less background noise.
Also, if Google Tone was successful in sending the URL, the blue speaker icon will turn green else it will turn red. For proper functioning, the microphone should be enabled, and Google Tone should be able to hear itself.
On the receiver side, you will be able to see a small notification that a URL has been broadcasted. You can click open this notification, and you will be redirected to the URL sent via the audio. The extension will not automatically open the URL for you so that you are protected against any malicious links that can be sent over audio.
Talking about the security, the URLs you sent are totally public. Anyone listening to the audio can open that URL on his/her computer. So, make sure you don’t send anything confidential using Google Tone.
The URLs are shared as they would have been in a text-based medium. No session information or saved credentials are transferred, just the plain text URL is shared in the audio.
Google Tone is one great extension that uses technology at its best. Also, when you send something using the audio, it is like the way you talk. The audio cannot penetrate walls, and the volume can be adjusted to reach an apt number of people. For now, Google Tone only supports URL sharing, but we expect more features soon. A similar implementation of this technology can be observed in Google Tez, a UPI application in India that lets you pay to nearby users using audio. Click here to get Google Tone.