Posted on July 2016 | Blair Garrou

LISNR: The Lion that Roared

LISNR at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Cincinnati based startup founder, Rodney Williams, gave a keynote at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in France last month. Each year, select experts in innovation are invited to speak at the festival to share their insights and experiences. Rodney was among those experts and discussed inspiring the impossible and bringing “magical” innovation to businesses.

Cannes has now come “full circle” for LINSR. A year ago, LISNR won the Cannes Gold Lion award for Mobile Innovation. Fast forward twelve months, and Rodney was giving this keynote at Cannes on digital disruption. Rodney and LISNR have pioneered the “Internet of Sound,” and the best is yet to come for this innovative company.

What is LISNR?

For those of you unfamiliar, LISNR is a Cincinnati and San Francisco-based startup that has developed high frequency, inaudible technology utilizing ultrasonic sound waves called SmartTones to transmit data over audio. LISNR transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable device connectivity everywhere. LISNR’s most notable solutions are for proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication, and low-fi device to device connectivity on any LISNR enabled device.

Over the past six months, LISNR has powered a broad set of applications and activities, including: Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters show (second-screen functionality); the Grammy Awards and the The Who’s recent concert in Wembley (proximity data transmission); the Cleveland Cavaliers playoff games (proximity data transmission); and retail activities. Over the past year, LISNR commercial momentum has led to numerous publications and awards. Most notably:

  • In February, LISNR was prominently featured within Intel’s booth at Mobile World Congress. Intel was the lead investor for LISNR’s Series B round of financing.
  • In May, Rodney Williams was featured on the cover of Black Enterprise as “The Next Big Name in Tech.”
  • In June, LISNR was included on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list for the second year in a row.
  • This month, LISNR announced it would be powering the mobile apps of the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills

#IoT Impact

We at Mercury, and many others, believe that LISNR will play a key role in enabling IoT applications and connectivity in the near future. This is due to LISNR’s ability to expand IoT and enable the Internet of Sound. The Internet of Sound essentially enables data sharing and/or activation from any device with a speaker to any device with a microphone. The low cost and ubiquity of digital signal processing (DSP) chips in smart devices will enable “always-on” listening and enable use cases as basic as media activation, and as varied as user authentication, payment processing, smart home enablement, and machine to machine identification and avoidance. If LISNR can truly enable low to no power, ubiquitous device authentication and connectivity, the opportunities for innovations leveraging its platform are endless.

We at Mercury congratulate LISNR and Rodney on all of their achievements and look forward to the next chapter in the startup’s lifecycle.

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