Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chirp?

Chirp is a platform for sharing data using sound - a sonic barcode.

Chirp allows users of your app to connect to one anther with one touch. Chirping data is simple, quick and easy, and requires no prior setup.

What’s special about Chirp?

Chirp goes where other networks don't. With Chirp, your users may not even need to have a network connection to send and receive information.

Why use sound?

Because sound is everywhere.

There are billions of loudspeakers on Earth: in radios, TVs, PA systems, laptops, phones, tablets, digital displays, ATMs. Everywhere there’s a loudspeaker, you can connect with your users.

How do I get Chirp in my application?

Chirp is simple to use in your app or product. Sign up here to get on our developer programme and get access to our easy to use SDKs for iOS, Android, Arduino, Python (BETA) and Javascript (BETA). If you need our technology on other platforms please contact us.

Why not just use Bluetooth or push messaging instead?

Chirp is designed for quick and easy sharing between different devices.

Unlike Bluetooth, you or your customers don’t have to fiddle around pairing devices, or own the latest devices that support Bluetooth LE or NFC.

Unlike standard messaging services, you don’t need to type in anyone’s username or phone number.

None of that is needed - devices simply chirp, and chirp-enabled apps nearby ‘hear’ the data. Apps may also connect with each other privately (i.e. one-to-one) depending on the use case and implementation.

It’s as simple as speaking a language your mobile phone can understand.

How does Chirp actually work?

Think of a chirp as a tiny sonic barcode. Chirp-enabled apps listen out for certain notes played in a precise order and speed.

The Chirp SDK in your app decodes this into a sequence of symbols, and where necessary, the Chirp server then returns associated media to the user. Our partners can also use their own infrastructure instead of ours, such that user's data never touches our servers.

This process happens in real time and at scale, such that millions of users or millions of media objects can be easily supported in digital marketing campaigns, for example.

What if a user is offline?

If the user has the data preloaded on their device, a chirp just acts as a simple trigger to unlock that data from within the device - no network connection needed.

What happens when it's noisy?

The world is a noisy place. Chirp is designed to cope with traffic sound, music, speech, TVs blaring in the background, and so on. We are audio specialists and aside from formal lab testing of the system, we’ve spent a lot of time in real-world scenarios on buses and in bars of South London (the louder the better) testing and refining the Chirp audio engine. We think the system is state of the art for robustness against noise, and so do our partners.

Can anyone hear what I'm chirping?

By default - yes, this allows one device to broadcast to many devices at the same time (one-to-many). If you have a specific application requiring an SDK with private (one-to-one) or secure chirping enabled for password or payment applications, please just get in touch.

Does Chirp record my voice and send it to the server?

Users value privacy highly, and so do we. No audio leaves your device via our SDKs ever.

Can't find the answer to your question?

We'd love to hear from you to answer any queries you may have.