Yamaha Japan has run a live broadcast demo of its Infosound technology, which takes advantage of high-pitched sound frequencies inaudible to humans to transmit data to mobile devices like the iPhone. Infosound uses frequencies above 18kHz for 80bps short-range data transfer; while Yamaha was demonstrating prototype systems at CEATEC earlier this year, a live test on Japanese digital TV network RCC took place in Tokyo in the early hours of this morning.
The test broadcast worked with a special iPhone app [iTunes link] that could convert the high-pitched audio into webpage URLs. Yamaha expect the technology to be used to distribute web information from broadcast TV or radio, as well as in museums for visitor guides around various exhibits, and in distributing coupons and other discount vouchers.
While Infosound's range and bandwidth is low - at most 10m from the speaker, Yamaha suggests - it's nonetheless enough for short bursts of text like URLs, product codes or other links. Meanwhile, by comparing the various volume levels of multiple Infosound transmissions, a device could also work out its location.
[via AV Watch]