The experience of being snaked around metal barriers, waiting excitedly with ticket in hand, to enter music venues and festivals could be over thanks to a new technology that admits gig-goers by listening for a discrete digital audio signal broadcast from a smartphone.
The new e-ticketing system, called Presence, is the result of a collaboration between Ticketmaster and Lisnr, a data-over-audio company that has pioneered using ultrasonic sound technology it calls “smart tones” to transmit information between devices.
Using the new tech, rather than having to scan each individual ticket, all it would take to get into an event would be for gig-goers to take out their phone and open the Presence app, which would then broadcast ticketing data.
Microphones installed at the event would then listen for the audio signals emitted by the app at between 18.75 kHz and 19.2 kHz, and you’re in.
“We used identity as our North Star — our guiding light to develop a product that makes each individual fan experience the greatest it could be,” said Justin Burleigh, EVP of product at Ticketmaster.
“This means using identity to drive customized experiences based on who you are and where you are, eliminating fraud, resulting in a safer environment, and delivering more personalization based on the specific event you’re attending.”
Although, other Lisnr’s tech is by no means the first paperless ticketing system, with QR codes being the main alternative. The company say alternative technologies are expensive as they require more infrastructure in venues to work.
Lisnr-powered tickets also have the added benefit of being tethered to specific people’s mobile device, meaning venues will always know who is at a gig.
Aside from the security benefits, this will give Ticketmaster another tool to help crackdown on ticketing fraud and help police to resale market.
Future plans for Lisnr’s technology include allowing attendees to buy items in venues using their smart tone tickets, and it could also be used to enable venues to send proximity-based messaging to attendees, which could mean artists engaging with fans or venues using the tech to sell goods and merchandise.
However, Lisnr’s ambitions reach beyond the ticketing industry, and the tech has recently been used by Jaguar Land Rover in a test that replaced keys with a mobile phone that could alert the car of a particular drivers’ presence.
When the car detected the personalised signal it would unlock and adjust the seat settings.