Microsoft researchers have developed Dhwani, a system that offers near-field communications (NFC)-like capabilities without requiring dedicated wireless hardware. Dhwani uses sound, employing the speaker and microphone on phones to securely exchange data at speeds of up to 2.4 kilobits/second, which is "sufficient for most existing NFC applications," the researchers note. Although the range of Dhwani is significantly shorter than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it is similar to NFC, and will work effectively over a distance of a few centimeters.
Dhwani is software-based and therefore does not require specialized hardware for transfers, and the researchers also say the technology is more secure than NFC. They also note the use of a more advanced antenna could make it possible to monitor NFC communications distances of up to a meter. Dhwani features JamSecure security that "uses self-jamming coupled with self-interference cancellation at the receiver" to protect data transmissions.
The basis of Dhwani's communication system is an acoustic software-defined radio. The researchers determined that 6 KHz was the lower limit for the system below which typical ambient noise would interfere with transmissions.
From Computerworld Australia
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