Archive for the ‘Software’ category – Transmitting data via sound

May 12th, 2015

A fascinating approach to solving the problem of data transmission without complicated pairing, NFC hiccups, or cables –

Pictures, links, contacts, and, as of 5/10, videos can all be transmitted from one smartphone to another simply through a 2-3 second sound burst, called a chirp. You don’t have to pair anything. No wires, no bluetooth configuration, no NFC setup – just give Chirp access to your mic to let it hear the chirp and, voila, simple data transmission. (Technically, the media is uploaded to an AWS server and the only thing that is transmitted is the unique link to that item, but it’s still pretty slick. For example, I created a chirp to this blog. The chirp app created a unique URL ( that redirects automatically/immediately to this blog. The blog address itself is not transmitted via sound.)

They also have a beta SDK available now, if you’re interested in creating apps that use this technology.

Give the app (and the SDK) a spin for yourself.

Finally, Chirp is now raising funding on crowdcube – if you’re interested in investing. They’ve raised £185,480 of the target £400,000, with 43 days left to go (as of 5/12).

Skala Color

April 23rd, 2015

Bjango ( makes a nice, simple, but very effective color picker for Mac OS X – Skala Color.

Why use a custom color picker? As their website points out – Skala Color provides color values in Hex, CSS RGBA, CSS HSLA, UIColor, NSColor, among others. So, if you’re building a web app, an Android app, or an iOS/OS X app, you’re covered. It is very easy to install and use. Both simple and powerful is an unusual pair of qualities, but Skala Color carries them both off very well. Best of all, the price is right — free!

Bjango also makes several other apps including iStat Mini, a system monitor that fits in the notification window, and Skala Preview that shows “pixel perfect” views for multiple devices. Their “precise user interface and icon design tool”, Skala, is “coming soonish” – but should be worth a serious look, if their other apps are any indication.

Skala Preview - from Bjango media kit

Skala Preview – from Bjango media kit

OpenCage Geocoder

July 12th, 2014

OpenCage (from Lokku Limited) is a new and promising contender if you’re looking for an easy way to geocode (both forward (i.e. address to lat/long) and reverse (i.e. lat/long to address)).


According to their FAQ, OpenCage will be free while in beta:

During the beta period, use of the OpenCage Geocoder is free of charge; the pricing page will always have the latest information.


Multiple client libraries (e.g. in Python, Ruby, PHP, Javascript) make calling OpenCage very simple.


OpenCage returns results in either JSON, GeoJSON, XML, a map, or google-v3-json format.

Give it a try using their quick start. A free key is all you need to run their examples.