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Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC

6/20/2011 02:30 AM EDT
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rick merritt
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
rick merritt   6/20/2011 2:39:17 AM
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I have an interview with the founders at 10am Pacific Monday, so if you have a burning question let me know what it is here or at rick.merritt@ubm.com

ValleyVet
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
ValleyVet   6/20/2011 3:38:38 AM
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Smartphones are designed for near field audio pickup and often roll off around 18KHz. The speakers are optimized for voice band. Would be interesting to know how they plan to overcome the limitations by design of mobile phones for high frequency communications. Also seems like a technology that is ripe for "blue boxes" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_box)

PremierSnow
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
PremierSnow   6/20/2011 12:21:55 PM
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Rick, can they discuss the pros and cons vs. NFC? Why would a company on the NFC bandwagon decide to switch and support Narette's technology? What makes it better or worse than NFC? Thanks.

fredoslo
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
fredoslo   6/20/2011 4:13:57 PM
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It's one thing to be able to send data from one device to another (whatever the technology) and another thing to have the whole scheme validated as "the mobile payment scheme" by major financials players such as VISA, MASTERCARD, and the ecosystem as a whole (terminals, readers, ...). This took NFC ten years to achieve and to build trust.

rick merritt
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
rick merritt   6/20/2011 6:00:08 PM
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I just updated the story after interviewing the founders, hopefully answering many of your questions here. I will also encourage them to chime in on the discussion.

LarryM99
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
LarryM99   6/20/2011 9:17:31 PM
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This is an important point. Transaction support is a very "top-heavy" application which includes authentication, encryption, errorproofing, etc. Whether that happens over RF or audio physical transport would seem to be a relatively minor detail. Larry M.

Luis Sanchez
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
Luis Sanchez   6/20/2011 9:19:18 PM
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What an interesting story. It really sounds like a very powerful idea. But since this is a very innovative approach, I bet it will be filled with questions and a very cautious approack from the big banks and some other companies seeking security. One question that pops on mind is... if they are using the mobile phone's already built-in speakers and mics wouldn't using such devices under such abnormal frequencies reduce the 'life' of the devices? what is Naratte going to answer that question? I'd be interested to know that since one thing is to test for functionality but other is to test for durability and perhaps they even should since in the future, somebody could sue them saying they are the cause for their phone failure... well, that is of course if they make a good license freeing them from all responsability. And then... would you use such "at you're own risk" scheme?

PJames
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
PJames   6/20/2011 10:22:17 PM
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It's better because with a simple app download all the older smartphones could support it without waiting for a 2-3 yr refresh cycle. Downside... it's probably not as reliable and you'd also have irate customers waiting in line behind someone that can't complete his transaction because he's forgotten his phone is on silent or the volume is set too low.

ReneCardenas
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
ReneCardenas   6/20/2011 10:25:23 PM
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Just on the surface, it appears to be an easy target for hackers, how hard can it be to rig devices for audio capture and playback of captured data streams? It makes me wonder how strong and tamper-proof could be an audio-based encoding, in order to prevent hacking? Since the user-tolerable transaction times may place limits on packet size and the encoding-rates required.

LarryM99
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re: Startup has ultrasound alternative to NFC
LarryM99   6/21/2011 12:30:22 AM
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Guarding against a replay attack is up to higher protocol layers. There is nothing intrinsically less secure (or more secure, for that matter) about this transmission frequency. Larry M.

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