Watch XLIVE’s interview with Jameson Rader, Founder of CUE Audio, from the XLIVE Annual Conference & Expo, December 9-12, 2018 in Las Vegas.
CUE Audio is the fastest growing data-over-audio technology company in the market, transmitting data via high-frequency, inaudible audio signals to any device with a speaker or microphone, and facilitating customizable second-screen experiences and network-free data transfer. Connecting global brands, sports teams and artists with their fans and customers, CUE Audio has created more than 3 million interactions for clients such as Coca-Cola, Disney, McDonald’s, and NBA, NHL and NCAA Division I sports teams.
[00:03] We’re here now with Jameson Rader, founder of CUE Audio. Jameson, how are you doing?
[00:09] Really well. I’m excited for the expo.
[00:12] And you’re back in Vegas, your hometown. That must be nice.
[00:16] Absolutely. It’s nice to have an expo in my hometown.
[00:18] So are we where CUE Audio was founded? Can we hear a little bit about the story behind CUE Audio?
[00:25] It actually wasn’t founded in Vegas, got a little bit of a start in Omaha. So the original problem we were trying to solve, is how do we synchronize devices, thousands of devices, in an arena where there’s no Wifi, no cell service, everyone has literally no connection.
[00:47] A problem we’ve all had in convention centers many, many times.
[00:51] Absolutely. Everywhere people congregate there is oftentimes poor service. So what we do, is we are a transmission method. We transmit data through ultrasonic audio. We are an alternative to a WiFi, to Bluetooth, and to cell service. So we are our own transmission method and we use high frequency, inaudible audio to do that.
[01:16] And I have to say, when I was looking up a little bit about your company, I kind of had this moment because I had no idea that was even possible! Can you talk about that technology a little bit? Not to give away any of your secrets…
[01:32] It’s really a novel experience the first time people see it. For example, you can’t embed a Bluetooth signal into a YouTube video or a television broadcast. You can’t emit a Bluetooth signal from it, it’s a video file. But you can emit an ultrasonic signal, so you can achieve a similar effect. You can literally embed Bluetooth actions into your video or media, using audio.
[02:04] So let’s talk about how CUE Audio takes that technology and brings it to the meeting and events world.
[02:11] Absolutely. So we have a few products that are developed for the live event market, the first of which is our crowd sourced synchronized light show. This is a product that’s built on top of our core engine. So with this light show, everyone can open up their device and without a connection, even in airplane mode, we’ll play music and everyone’s phone will synchronize and light up the beat of the music. You’ll see several thousand phones synchronized, and then we’ll take the display and we will show colors, images, sponsor logos, etc. We’ve partnered with Coca Cola across over a dozen D1 colleges to create these light show experiences for fans at these venues. It’s something that has been extremely popular, and moreover can be brought anywhere because again, we don’t rely on solid WiFi.
[03:08] As long as the audio is there, correct?
[03:10] Yeah as long as you can hear the music, we can transmit data.
[03:12] So it started off with a flame, right? We had lighters, then we had our phones and we would show our phones, and now you guys are totally changing the game and controlling the throbbing of our phones?
[03:23] Yes, we are the next evolution in the crowd/concert/lighter experience which happens at concerts.
[03:27] I think that’s pretty cool! So what are some other ways that we can use this technology?
[03:33] So we have our core engine available to be integrated into any third party application. We create a few products ourselves with our core engine, but we also license it out to be integrated by anybody. Some of the innovations that other companies are pioneering using our technology, have to do with indoor wayfinding. GPS doesn’t work well in a large venue. You don’t get enough of a signal to tell you you’re inside the venue, or to tell you where you are.
[04:05] So you can use audio beacons or ultrasonic transmission to basically wayfind indoors. Broadcast is another big one, the ability to have a synchronized second screen experience. So if you have some television show and you want people’s phone to bring up a Twitter post, you can literally embed that Twitter post into your show at a specific time code. So people with an app open will see Twitter posts instantly.
[04:34] So does this all work through the app?
[04:44] We we’re in a lot of different apps. We have 30 plus apps in the app store, we integrate with third parties, we’ll be in a few hundred apps in the collegiate space pretty soon.
[05:00] You say it so casually!
[05:04] It’s been a big team effort to get to that point, it’s really exciting, and I love saying it.
[05:12] Yes. Congratulations! That’s great. When did you start CUE Audio?
[05:17] CUE Audio is almost exactly 12 months old.
[05:27] I was expecting a few years!
[05:30] Yeah, it was a little bit of a solo project for awhile, but with Ira Akers, together we’ve been a good team and he’s been able to really take what was kind of a solo project, and really accelerate the growth. He is the person who who convinced us to look for funding to be able to actually do something far more significant than what was going on previously, which was kind of a solo, a small scale light show company.
[06:26] Right. And what are your hopes for 2019? We’re about to step into the new year. You guys have achieved a lot in just 12 months, you’re coming up to your one year anniversary, we’re looking ahead to the future, can you talk a little bit about that?
[06:38] So we plan to have some really cool products in 2019. First, the light show product will be less of a pre-programmed orchestrated event, and more ad hoc. You can literally DJ the crowd. You’ll have like an iPad in front of you with for a example a red button, a switch, so you can literally DJ everyone’s phone in real time. Another big advancement is we’re making continued improvements to our ultrasonic engine. So this is what other companies use to send data over audio, as a transmission method. This is what makes ultrasonic communications possible, not only for us, but for any company that we partner with. So this is continuing to get better, and faster, and have a longer range. We actually did a Clemson football game, maybe two weeks ago, that was the longest data over audio transmission ever, with over 200 meters outdoors.
[07:45] So you broke a record?
[07:47] I believe so, yeah! It was a big moment.
[07:57] That’s amazing. Thank you so much for speaking with us! How can people learn a little more about CUE Audio?
[08:08] Our website, www.cueaudio.com, a lot of apps, and YouTube. YouTube has some really cool videos if anyone wants to check them out!
[08:12] Great. Thank you for your time today!
[08:14] Thank you.
[08:14] See you guys next time.
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