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Google's New Powerful Chrome Extension – Google Tone

‘s latest experiment brings new superpowers to browsers with powerful chrome extensions called

Google Tone is a for sharing URLs with nearby computers using sound

Google has launched a new experimental Chrome extension that lets you transmit the URL of a website to other nearby computers using nothing but sound.

To try the feature, all computers must first have the Google Tone Chrome extension installed and be within reasonable earshot of each other. Then, when you’re on a webpage you’d like to share, hit the little Google Tone tab in your browser and you’ll hear a little succession of beeps — not too dissimilar to an old ZX Spectrum computer loading a game. Nearby machines receive a notification with the sender’s Google profile and picture embedded within the message, and the user can choose to open the URL on their own PC.

The first version of Google Tone was built in an afternoon, according to Google Research blog post. And although its basic use for now involves sharing simple URLs, the underlying technology could perhaps be adapted to transfer any kind of files.

While there are already a multitude of methods to share files around the world, from email and instant messaging to Dropbox, sharing things with those in the same room could be easier and more direct.

google-tone

How do I use Google Tone?

To broadcast a URL using Google Tone:

  • Log into your Google account.
  • Click on the Google Tone icon in your Chrome browser while on a web page you want to broadcast.

Why Google Tone?

Google Tone helps computers communicate like we do—by talking to each other. It’s a browser extension that lets Chrome use your computer’s speakers to produce a special sound signature for other computers’ microphones to identify as a URL.

How does Google Tone work?

Google Tone turns on your computer’s microphone (while the extension is on). Google Tone temporarily stores a URL on Google’s servers and uses your computer’s speakers and microphone to send it to nearby computers connected to the Internet. Any computer within earshot that also has the Google installed and turned on can receive a Google Tone notification. The notification will display the URL along with your Google Profile name and picture.

To receive a URL with Google Tone, Chrome needs to keep your microphone on. Google Tone may not work in loud spaces, over a distance, with a poor Internet connection, or on computers without a microphone or with a microphone incapable of detecting sound broadcast by Google Tone.

How does Google Tone use my data?

Google Tone collects anonymous usage data in accordance with Google’s Privacy Policy.

How do I turn it on and off?

To turn Google Tone (including the microphone) on and off, go to the Chrome extension settings.

Is it secure?

Google Tone only broadcasts URLs, so recipients do not automatically gain access to a page to which they wouldn’t ordinarily have access. If you broadcast your Gmail inbox URL, for example, recipients who click on the Google Tone notification will be prompted to log in to their Gmail. However, Google Tone broadcasts are public by design, so it’s best not to use them to exchange confidential information.

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