Jaguar Land Rover, Lisnr team up to personalize cars using sound

Hopefully it won't drive your dog crazy in the process.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
Land Rover

Using sound to transmit data might sound like science fiction, but it could soon come to a Land Rover product at a dealership in your area.

Jaguar Land Rover's tech incubator now includes Lisnr, a company devoted to using what it calls Smart Tones to transmit data using sounds that are outside the human register for hearing. A car equipped with this technology could theoretically communicate with a number of other devices equipped with the same tech, unbeknownst to the user himself.

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In Smart Tones, no one can hear you scream.

Land Rover

Using a mobile app, folks can connect to a Jaguar Land Rover vehicle equipped with Smart Tone technology. The car could then tell who is located in the vehicle, down to the seat location, and adjust vehicle settings to individual user preferences. It could detect a driver and change radio favorites, or adjust the seat or climate control so that the driver doesn't have to, even if they weren't the last person to use the vehicle.

The tech can be used beyond climate control adjustments, though. The sound tones could be used to replace key fobs with the phone in a user's pocket. It could work with a drive-through to display the restaurant's menu on the infotainment system as the driver approaches the window, or even transmit the order to the restaurant, as well.

One could reasonably assume that Lisnr's Smart Tones don't exist within the register for a dog's hearing, because then you'd have a whole bunch of frustrated pet owners whose dogs are freaking out while seats are automatically adjusting themselves.

"We are looking for and investing in technologies that improve in-car connectivity and bring cars, devices and their users closer together," said Danielle Alexander, general manager of JLR's tech incubator, in a statement. "Lisnr is one of the most compelling technologies we've seen in this space, and we believe working with them will bring us closer to our goals of complete car and device connectivity."

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