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Share URLs by sound with Google Tone

This experimental Chrome extension lets you broadcast a sound to nearby computers to share a link.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Sharing a link to a Web page with a friend is as easy as copying and pasting the link into an email, IM or text and hitting Send. If that friend is seated right next to you, it's even easier with Google Tone.

Google Tone is a new Chrome extension that lets you share a link to anyone within earshot with a single click. Google Tone places a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar. When you click the button, the extension emits a pleasing tone to share the link you currently have open in Chrome to those nearby that also have Google Tone installed. They will receive a notification with your Google profile name and picture with your link. Clicking on the notification then opens a new tab in Chrome.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You will need to be logged into your Google account to use Google Tone, and your microphone will be turned on when the extension is on. There are no mobile versions of Google Tone; you need to use the desktop version of Chrome.

I tested Google Tone between a MacBook Pro and a Windows tablet and while I was able to share links from one machine to the other, I had better luck sending from the tablet to the MacBook. The MacBook always heard the tone, while the tablet picked up the signal only about half of the time. Perhaps a MacBook Pro has better ears than a tiny Windows tablet.

(Via Venture Beat and Google Research Blog)