Tell us about your experiences with Marketplace. Enter To Win
Codebreaker

R2D2 works the night shift, does voiceover for an app

Marc Sanchez Jul 23, 2012

The app: Chirp, which lets users transfer data via noises that sound an awful like a certain little droid. Funnily enough, the app is only available for iPhones – an Android version is planned for the future. It works like this: two or more phones have the app open, then one person “chirps” a link or photo or 140-character text and the phones within earshot receive the information. Right now, those are the three types of data you can transfer, but Chirp sees a big future in things like store coupons, paperless tickets, and even money transfers.
The BBC interviewed Chirp honcho Patrick Bergel, who talked about the ability to transfer data quickly to a crowd:

[Chirp] can also work over public address systems or radio transmissions – potentially allowing broadcasters a way to send up-to-date pictures or links to background information; or an advertiser to send coupons or snippets of a song or promotional video.


Maybe this could help folks in the Occupy movement from losing their voices and acting as human microphones. And (spoiler alert!) maybe there will be come a day some crazed hacker could get up in front of a room full of people, put his phone up to a microphone, and zap our bank accounts clean!

Oh and speaking of R2, somebody did this, AND I LOVE IT!

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.