Music is mostly a waveform of lyrics. This is something combined from the definitions of a musician and a physicist. While the waveform does keep a lot of data to itself that can decode out. If you are curious, your voice assistant works on this technique of data storage. Just a simple comparison and your voice do what the keyboard’s supposed to do, with 95% accuracy. But now, extra data can be sent as Data Transfer is now possible through Music.
How Data can be transferred through music or Audio files?
Data can get sent with a unique signature, enabling the decoder to know where to look. This is the most important part, as the decoder has to know where to collect the bits. The rest is easy, as grouping bits and decoding out characters is common. While some researchers at ETH Zurich came up with technology similar. That can store or send data in musical notes. The technique specifies beats of higher frequencies of the sound to store bits.
If you are familiar with bits and bytes, you know how data storage occurs. How it’s stored. The technology of switches shreds down exponentially, with the evolution of nanotech. Still, it keeps implementing the same 1900 technology. For working on the whole communication systems in the world.
As always these bits used to store data. You can identify bits as either 0 or 1. 0 is for an off-switch and 1 is for an on the switch. Keeping 8 of these can yield a byte and a combined limit of 256 characters.
How data transfer takes place
All sorts of wireless communication use radio waves for data transfer. Bluetooth works by the technique of address pairing. Only then files are easily sent. But the speed is not that great. While this new data transfer technique just uses sound.
It is easily audible and recognizable by microphones present in smartphones. If the data is put into the sound, it should be re-decodable by a specific process. Or an algorithm. The researchers at ETH Zurich developed this algorithm, that can easily recognize those stored bits.
How far has this gone with sound?
Most brands have been experimenting with undetectable data transfers, for security. As they did accomplish the feat. But the originality of the sound got altered. This is normal, as you cant overload a sound with data. While expecting it to be exactly similar to the original one. An audio file gets easily altered, when data is added.
Also, check out this, NASA Astronaut is the First Person To Record A Music Video In Space.
ETH Zurich’s incredible implementation of data transfer
Data can be easily transferred through a medium. Unless it’s altered, or it alters another set of data. Sound is a piece of data too, or a normal piece of information. Loading it with extra data can get detected from the original sound. Only in comparison. But the people at Zurich made it kind of a different strategy.
As we only respond to music which makes sense to us. And that is the range of the audible music. But un-audible music or too much high pitch tones can’t interpret by us. As before we get to understand it, we will lose the sense of hearing. (this seems rather like a work of an audible device). The tones or notes that are in-audible to us also used to keep the data.
Use of high pitch or loud noise tones for a data transfer
Data transfer speed
You might have seen data transfer speeds are measured in bits/sec. Using just sound for data transfer using bits, a speed of about near to 400 bits/sec has been achieved.
If a character set gives a single byte for 8 bits, we can send 50 characters in a single second. Or 50 bytes. Or 25 numbers. A normal audio file on average is for 3 minutes or 180 seconds. Thus a minimum speed of 9000 characters per song can be sent. That’s less than the limit of your resume.
Quality preservation and redundancy
Data transfer can be easily done by music. You place the data with the algorithm. Send it to the phone. Decode the data out, and interpret the message. While, as earlier experimentations went wrong due to wrongful data placements, researchers at Zurich experienced the same.
As when you read a text, you won’t be able to decode the hidden data beneath it. This is very hard with the audio file, as you physically scan the whole set of bits in your ears. Our mind responds to sounds very quickly just like with eyes.
Quality maintains well, for sounds that have a higher number of pitched notes. As the anomalies preserve in the audio file can interpret less. This makes it more safe and undetectable. For lower-pitched sounds, it is not easy. During experimentations with initial listeners, some people easily detected the differences, but only 35-40% could. The rest couldn’t.
Applications regarding data transfer with sound
There are a lot of applications. With high pitched and toned sounds, the chance of detection is very low. Smaller data pieces can get sent, like secret messages and queries. Searches related to such specific sites can share out within. But it is important to preserve the quality of the sound. For this, a sort of repetition is in need.
This is made happen by reducing the data transfer speed, to near 200 bits/sec or 250 bits/sec. As with such speeds and this incredible technology, small data can be easily transferred. That too without extra charges. Marketing can get common and working in a very cool way. Since a small 40-50Kb of data will not hurt anyone’s data plan. This is enough to load in a long message, offers, deals, online price cuts from eCommerce sites. It can be just sent to a mobile or communication device with a very small amount of time. While, how data can be transfer through music, is now true.