Last week CNBC recognized Lisnr
, one of Cincinnati's beloved startup companies
, for its role in revolutionizing the business landscape. Needless to say, it's a story worth listening to.
As #12 on the CNBC Disrupter 50 list
, Lisnr finds itself in the ranks of companies like SpaceX, Airbnb, Uber, Dropbox and SurveyMonkey. The company's Smart Tones technology, which has earned it $4.4 million in funding to date, turns any speaker or microphone into a vehicle for relevant data. By employing Lisnr's technology, companies can reach their customers directly, through their own mobile app, based on music they're listening to, a certain TV show they're watching or an event they're attending.
In other words, by sending data over inaudible sound waves Lisnr offers a long list of possibilities to companies hoping to enhance their relationship with customers.
Plus, unlike the popular Bluetooth, which also transmits data wirelessly through sound, Lisnr's ultrasonic software is hardly a drain on battery life. When compared to a device using Bluetooth, a mobile device using a Lisnr-enabled app will last five to seven times longer.
CEO Rodney Williams came up with the idea during his time at Procter & Gamble.
"I was completely obsessed with technology and how it can be used to touch consumers more effectively," he stated during his CNBC interview.
Lisnr's journey officially began in 2012 on a bus trip
to South By Southwest Interactive in Austin, Tex. Three years later, the company has a growing headquarters in Cincinnati and a bustling office in New York City.
CNBC's Squawk Box
reporters, who interviewed Williams after announcing his #12 ranking, acknowledged his Cincinnati roots as well as Lisnr's role in the our urban revitalization.
Among Lisnr's many accomplishments, "having CNBC recognize our success and potential for the future is right up there as the most satisfying," Williams says.
Lisnr was chosen from 400 nominations determined by the public, the technology industry and venture capital interests.
With current big-name customers like Budweiser and AT&T on their list, there's much more to come from the Pendleton/Over-the-Rhine company.
"We are the new Bluetooth," Williams says. "We're universally disruptive, and this is just the beginning."