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Audio Tickets: Queuing for music festivals could soon be a thing of the past

A new app that uses inaudible sounds from phones to identify ticket holders could mean the end of long queues at gigs and music festivals.

The technology is currently being used by Ticketmaster at some venues, and uses a system that sends and receives audio signals from smartphones.

This allows the system to identify who is entering a venue without the need for physical tickets, potentially changing the queuing system for live events in future.

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Specifically, Ticketmaster is using a system developed by Lisnr called “smart tones”, trialling the technology at a handful of venues.

As VentureBeat reports, following this trial, the company plans to launch the system worldwide within the next four years.

All users have to do is download and install an app on their smartphone, and open it when arriving at the event. Pre-installed microphones at the venue then pick up the audio signals from the app.

Because these signals are emitted at between 18.75 kHz and 19.2 kHz, they are inaudible to 90% of people.

Using audio technology as opposed to other communication services such as NFC is, according to Lisnr, much cheaper, and comes with added benefits such as fraud prevention.

Because Lisnr tickets are linked to both the customer’s account and their mobile device, the organisers will always be able to verify the right person is using the right ticket at the event.

What’s more, becuse each tone emitted from a user’s smartphone contains a unique identifier, venues will be able to track a specific customer’s movements within the venue, allowing for personalised experiences.

Justin Burleigh, EVP of product at Ticketmaster, told VentureBeat: “We used identity as our North Star — our guiding light to develop a product that makes each individual fan experience the greatest it could be.

“This means using identity to drive customized experiences based on who you are and where you are, eliminating fraud, resulting in a safer environment, and delivering more personalization based on the specific event you’re attending.”

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Lisnr has previously worked with Jaguar Land Rover, using its technology to allow vehicles to communicate with mobile devices and other cars.

This could potentially mean owners will be unlocking their car and automatically setting in-car preferences with their smartphone in the future.

Let us know what you think of the technology in the comments.

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