The ultrasonic frequency band represents a novel and so far hardly used channel for the communication of different devices, such as mobile phones, computers, TVs, and personal assistants like Google Chromecast. Ultrasonic communication is a promising technology since it requires only a standard loudspeaker and a microphone (as built into our phones) for communication. While offering a number of opportunities for innovative services (e.g. in the domain of Internet of Things), the technology, however, also bears a number risks. Companies like Silverpush employ ultrasonic data exchange to track users across devices and to collect information about their behavoir without their knowledge.
In his talk, Matthias Zeppelzauer (Professor at the St.Pölten University of Applied Sciences) has presented the technology behind ultrasonic communication together with its risks and chances. Additionally, he introduced the project “SoniControl” (funded by netidee Austria) which aims at the development of an ultrasonic firewall to protect the privacy of users. The presentation has initiated an active discussion in the audience and numerous questions concerning privacy protection and possible use cases of this technology were raised.