Bluetooth Alternative

One of the coolest news to grace the front pages of most tech blogs is Boris Smus’ latest discovery. Boris Smus is one of Google’s highly esteemed engineers who found a way to utilize ultrasonic sounds in making your devices connect with one another. The other good thing is that Smus is using a Google Chrome tool which is the Web Audio API users can easily download from the browser.

The Desire for An Alternative

According to Boris Smus, the ultrasonic networking idea came from his desire to discover new and better alternatives to the already existing connectivity features we have like Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. These features actually allow devices that share the same air space and those who are within range of one another to connect, exchange and share various kinds of data. Smus was further motivated by the hurdles users often face when using these connectivity features, like the issue of compatibility. Since we currently have thousands of different mobile devices, the chance that they are not compatible with each other is rather high. It will be a real challenge to find common ground between these devices. For example, two distinct devices may both have Bluetooth features but one of them may call for a profile or technical requirement that the other device does not support. Variations in versions also become major considerations for pairing devices through Bluetooth.

  • The Journey to Ultrasonic

Smus also took it upon himself to come up with a JavaScript library that enabled devices to exchange sounds; this is easier than with any other file type since most devices sport speakers and microphones. To showcase the great potential of his work, Smus also came up with a couple of demo web applications with one app for sending emoticons from one gadget to another. Meanwhile, the other web app is responsible for pairing the devices and allows users to chat and communicate via a cloud-based service. It is important to note that the demo web applications Smus created require for if not the latest, at least an updated version of Google Chrome for desktop computers and Chrome beta for mobile devices. Since mobile devices are not totally optimized to host and facilitate ultrasonic sounds, the exchange of messages between two devices may require users to utilize a more audible mode. Yes, you can now use your device’s speakers and mikes other than for VoIP calls or Facetime.

There is one limitation, though. The translation of data into an audio format may limit the user’s bandwidth. When Smus was asked about this limitation, he related that there is indeed a deep-rooted tradeoff between the reliability of transfer and the bandwidth. To ensure that no error occurs while transmitting the data, it will be better to spend or allot a longer time for the transmission of every bit of data. He furthered that the major point in all of this is to prove that it can actually be done with the open web and commodity hardware. Although he was happy with the end result of his hard work and extensive research, Smus believes that this can still be improved with the aid of better and more sophisticated DSP approaches which can possibly yield anywhere near hundreds of bits per second.

Bandwidth matters. It can truly hasten a transmission process but with what Smus has in mind, users can make do with minimal bandwidth. Once two devices have been paired, all sorts of data can then be transmitted to a cloud-based service. Smus’ discovery is a great tool that can ease up the process of sharing files and data but users must be very careful with this technology and any kinds of technology that has something to do with sharing files as cyberspace is a fickle world.


Tyrone is a freelance writer who’s had extensive experience in the Outreach Program. This time he brings his extensive Writing expertise to Business and Technology. The articles he posts will surely be informative and comprehensive especially for individuals who are in dire need of these resources. He writes to cater impressive pool of different clients.

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