CINCINNATI, OH–Rodney Williams leads one of the most disruptive companies in our emerging Internet of Things (IoT) space and mobile connectivity. His firm, LISNR, provides a data transmission protocol that utilizes ultrasonic, inaudible technology that sends secure data over audio. Today, EY announces LISNR as Connected World Communications Winners for their 2017 Ohio Valley EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) recently launched the “CAC Digital Docent” App, an acoustic guide designed by WNDERS that uses LISNR technology to enhance the visitor experience. The app allows visitors to explore more deeply the Tomás Saraceno installation on view in the lobby, and features exclusive content, messages and experiences including a personal greeting from the artist himself. The activation is powered by ultrasonic audio company LISNR and will be the first use of LISNR technology in any museum in the world.
Instead of using outdated technology like headsets with recorded audio or Bluetooth beacons that require hardware, installation and maintenance costs, WNDERS, a mobile app platform for venues looking to enhance their visitor experience, opted to leverage LISNR SmartTone technology. SmartTones trigger the app upon entry. They direct visitors to additional exciting content tied to the exhibit, leading them on a journey through the artwork using video, images, and sound. The tones help visitors connect with Tomas Saraceno across social platforms, view related works. Visitors also have the ability to create a profile and digital collection of images and content.
LISNR’s high-frequency, inaudible SmartTone technology connects mobile applications and devices. When played over speakers, mobile apps with LISNR recognize the tone via the microphone. This additionally also detects micro-location within the venue. The tone then directs the app to an action and in this case it is extra content. Existing audio speakers are leveraged to craft a unique, evolving experience as one moves through the space. According to CAC Director Raphaela Platow, the greatest benefit of LISNR technology is that it not only enables better data transmission, but does it in a cost effective way with minimal hardware, installation and maintenance. This makes it easier for non-profit arts organizations with smaller budgets to get into the innovation and technology game to enhance the visitor experience. “We are continuously looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to connect with our audiences and give them deep and exciting insight into the works on view and the artists who created them. LISNR technology will activate our new app throughout the exhibition space and not only provide people with diverse information but also help us understand better how visitors use and move about our spaces.”
According to LISNR Co-Founder Chris Ostoich, “LISNR has powered experiences and connectivity for some of the world’s most admired brands and venues – including Wembley Stadium, The Staples Center, The Grammys, The Cleveland Cavaliers and more. We are excited to partner with the Contemporary Arts Center, Tomas Saraceno and WNDERS on the first augmented audio museum experience in the world using LISNR technology.”
The CAC Digital Docent App will have a huge impact on how CAC visitors interact with our exhibitions, acting as an interactive, virtual gallery guide. “ArtsWave aimed to bring the spark of innovation into the arts this spring with its first arts hackathon, ArtsWave Tech, and we’re thrilled to see the ideas coming to life,” ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner said. “The CAC Digital Docent app is an example of the amazing things that can happen when the arts and tech communities of Greater Cincinnati come together.”
This intersection of art and technology represents a significant partnership with a prominent and innovative member of the Cincinnati for-profit business community and an innovator in the Arts sector LISNR is a technology company headquartered in the city’s Central Business District. This is a company on the rise, having raised Series B financing led by Intel Capital, recently named 2017 Ohio Valley EY Entrepreneur of the Year, named one of CNBC’s Disruptor 50, a Gold Lion at Cannes Lions, and customers include The Cleveland Cavaliers, AEG, Budweiser, The Grammys, Visa and more.
As the CEO of LISNR, Mr. Williams has grown the company from a single idea to a promising global standard with more than 40 industry awards. As an entrepreneur, he’s received many accolades from a variety of publications. Williams also is a staple in his community mentoring and advocating for the voiceless. He recently was appointed to the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees.