Zoosh ultrasound payment transactions

If you want to do phone to phone or phone to POS transactions but you don’t have time to wait for NFC enabled devices and payment terminals then Zoosh by Naratte may be a good option for you.  Zoosh uses the phone’s speaker and microphone to transmit an inaudible sound that carries the transaction information to another phone or POS device.

Zoosh has a number of advantages over NFC, primarily that any phone can use it.  There is also the time to market considerations and other things that are not as obvious like being able to work when there is no cellular or network connection.  From the site some other highlights include:

  • Zoosh operates across a broad range of products including feature phones, smart phones, media players, tablets, POS systems, personal computers and even televisions.
  • Naratte’s Zoosh technology unlocks a broad range of applications that include next generation shopping experiences including phone-to-phone and phone-to-POS payments, mobile loyalty and MyWallet, and digital couponing at the POS terminal.
  • The Naratte team has created a number of Zoosh experiences that can be easily integrated, or you can use our Zoosh SDK to create entirely new device-to-device experiences. Use Zoosh to get next-generation near field mobile Applications to market now.

As with all POS payment situation, the merchant is left holding the bag and has to buy some hardware to be able to complete the transaction. BUt while there are challenges many industry insiders think highly of the technology.

From RRW:

Narette, the startup behind Zoosh, already has an industry partner in Sparkbase, makers of a digital wallet service called Paycloud. More importantly, Zoosh seems to have the respect of big names in the mobile industry, including Laura Chambers, PayPal Mobile’s GM, who says that “PayPal is very excited about” Zoosh and it has “the potential to enable complete consumer-merchant shopping experiences.”

Texas Instruments’ Matt Muse says his company is “excited” to have Zoosh running on TI’s C5000 DSP’s and Fay Arjomandi, head of Vodafone’s U.S. R&D center says Zoosh is “one of the most impressive and clever technologies I’ve seen in a long time.”

Naratte CEO Brett Paulson

CEO quotes from CNET:

“Naratte CEO Brett Paulson says, “We built an acoustic baseband in software,” and he points to two big benefits to doing communication this way. First, it’s cheap, since there’s no additional hardware required on mobile devices. Big point-of-sale terminals, he says, can be retrofitted with microphones and speakers for about a dollar (they already have the input ports on their motherboards); smaller credit-card terminals might need a bit more hardware, but they can piggyback on the input ports that exist for barcode scanners.”

The technology is interesting and for phone to phone it seems fine.  But when merchants have to integrate new hardware and payment processors need their pound of flesh I imagine Zoosh will run into many of the same problems other innovative transaction systems have found.

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.


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