ToneTag, IISc develop acoustic tags for retail, logistics sectors

ToneTag, IISc develop acoustic tags for retail, logistics sectors
Photo Credit: Pixabay
22 Jun, 2021

Bengaluru based proximity technology solutions startup ToneTag has worked with scientists from the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) to develop tags that can send and receive data via soundwaves. The chip, a “nanotech sticker with audio representations of data” can be integrated with plastic, paper or any material to track and trace products and will find its use in sectors such as retail and logistics.

ToneTag is an integrated library (sdk library) that provides solutions for secure proximity payments using sound (tone) or NFC (tag).

The acoustic tag emits soundwaves that are embedded with product details and can be captured by certain devices that can interpret the data.  The company said that the solution is an alternative to RFID (radio rrequency identification), magnetic tags and other asset tracking technology such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-wideband (UWB).  

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“We believe that acoustic tags will play an important role in addressing the inventory management and tracking issues faced by the retail sector globally,” said Rudra Pratap, professor at the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering, IISc Bangalore.

Rudra added that the team is also exploring interesting use-cases of the technology for smart cities and home automation.

ToneTag said that the data within acoustic tags can be encrypted and password protected. The tags will help retailers with issues of pilferage, as well as aisle level inventory needs. The company also claimed that the tag can help with faster checkouts as the need to scan each product bardcod for billing is eliminated.  

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“Acoustic tags can automate the inventory and logistics management process through improved efficiency, automatic identification and quicker data capture,” Kumar Abhishek, founder and CEO, ToneTag, said.

ToneTag, founded in 2014 by Abhishek and Vivek Singh, has raised a total of $10.3 million over four funding rounds. Some of its investors are Amazon, 3one4 capital, and MasterCard.