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Alcabaza, Dan
Amoranto, Dennise
Aquino, Shaira
Cadag, Vince
Franco, Adrian Carlo
Garcia, Arnold James
Lagahit, Jay Neil
Monteras, Charlie
Policarpio, John Carlo
Roxas, Evita
Saron, Marinelle
Unlike almost every other aspect of mobile and computer hardware design, the connector
has remained undisrupted for decades. Product designers struggle with delicate metal connectors
that put unsightly holes in otherwise beautiful products. And, the EMI, RFI, and ESD design issues
with connectors have only gotten worse as communications speeds have increased over time to
allow for large-file/fast-data transfer of 4K video.
Wireless communications eliminated many of those connector design issues but added new
ones like cost, antenna design complexity, major power consumption and customer frustration with
slow wireless networks, managing passwords, and pairing issues.
Over the years, there have been lots of ways to transfer files, but most of these take up
serious effort, and of course, time. People are accustomed to transporting files from one point to
the other using long, thin cables that are very vulnerable to damage. Some also persevere on slow
WiFi connections just to transfer important data. But with a recent Keyssa technology backed up
by well-known tech leaders, you can now transfer large files, well not just large but those gigabit-
sized data in just a couple of seconds.
From one of the world’s leading tech companies, Keyssa is known to be the reinventor of
connector. Established in 2009, the entity has become the leader in wireless connectivity such as
HDMI for video connections, fast file transfers for the first ever hybrid 2-in-1 laptop/ tablet and
more. And now, behold the ultimate high-speed file-sharing― Kiss Connectivity. The Keyssa
team is composed of brilliant and renowned technology front runners that include the likes of
Samsung, Dolby Family Ventures, Alsop Louie, Foxconn Interconnnect Technology, Neuberger
Berman, Intel Capital, and more. These brilliant companies share the same purpose to create a
radical innovation in terms of wireless transfer technology.
A simple yet secured file-sharing that does not take ages is a definitely a thumbs up. But
this hasn’t been made to reality until Keyssa created the Kiss Technology. Kiss is a solid-state
connector that makes use of the Extreme High Frequency or EHF radio waves to offer high-speed
transfer at lower power. The unprecedented speed and secured transfer makes Kiss Cnnec a very
reliable anchor when it comes to transferring huge and important data. It replaces the old-fashioned
need of different cables and ports to transfer your files to other devices. The bulky wires and long
cable connectors are much of hassle, especially if you’re running out of time. These cables are also
very prone to wear and tear. Further, it gets rid of the tiring waiting game and wasted efforts if
someone accidentally pulls off the wrong cord.
And if this invention gets the attention of distinguished OEMs, this could certainly be a hot
trend in the mobile and computer industry. Significantly, Kiss is expected to be launched at
whopping price of $699 with over 250 patents. But, you might be wondering how on earth can
massive files be transferred in a mere seconds using Kiss? Let’s try to delve deeper how Kiss really

Kiss Connectivity is
a wireless data transfer
technology from a California-
based startup called Keyssa.
The company is focused on
reinventing the way the
connectors on any mobile or
computer hardware currently
exist. The technology replaces
the need for different ports
and cables that you need
today in order to transfer data
between different devices.

The View Behind Kiss Connector

The entire power of this connectivity is vested in a chip-sized device, i.e., the Kiss-enabled
electromagnetic connector. It is well optimized for short distance connection and the main focus
is to replace the mechanical connector.

Physical Features
The little device is of about 5x5x1 mm (length x width x height) in dimension. It operates
in the 60 GHz band and can provide a data link at 6Gbps. That’s fast enough to transfer a 2 GB
file in about 5 seconds. If you want more speed, just add another transmit/receive pair for an extra
“lane”. To put things in perspective, the latest WiFi standard can handle up to 1.35 gigs a second,
and that’s assuming that no one else is using the network. The fastest USB standard currently tops
out at 5 gigs a second, and NFC around 400 kilobits a second.
The sleek size makes it easy to embed into mobile devices. Generally a 60 GHz band
requires high volumes of power and cost while giving a limited data channeling. On the other hand,
the Kiss connectivity chip consumes very low power (12 picojoules per bit) , has low latency (500
picoseconds), is free from RFI/EMI signal interference and all of this in a considerably low cost.

Length 5 mm
Width 5 mm
Height 1 mm
Band 60 GHz
Data link 6 Gbps
power 12 picojoules per bit
latency 500 picoseconds

How Does Connection Take Place?

Suppose you have two devices which support Kiss Connectivity. Now if you want to
transfer some data from one of them to the other, all you would have to do is touch, or “kiss”, them
with each other. This may sound like NFC, and the method actually is the same, but Kiss
Connectivity is way futuristic than the former. Having compared this new technology with NFC,
it’s what goes under the hood that makes all the difference. The devices supporting Kiss
Connectivity have a special chip embedded inside them that allow two devices to connect
magnetically and allow communication between them.
Near Field Communications or NFC is a means of sending data over radio waves. In that
sense it is similar to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
NFC can work with passive devices that don't require their own power supply, such as
travel card readers. NFC's data-transmission frequency is 13.56MHz. NFC can transmit data at
either 106, 212 or 424 Kbps (kilobits per second).
This connector-less solution comes in a tiny flexible form that mobile devices demand,
which is fast enough to support all modern wired protocols like USB 3.0, DisplayPort, SATA,
PCIe, just as a wire would in a point-to-point connection, while remaining cost effective, ultra low
power and fast to implement.

• Transfers the data between the devices with the speed of 6Gb per second.

Transfer speed
Wi-fi Direct Bluetooth NFC Kiss Connectivity
250 Mbps 25 Mbps 106, 212, 424 Kbps 6 Gbps

• Kiss Connectivity uses an extremely high-frequency (EHF) carrier to transport electrical-based
protocols over a short distance through plastics and air.

Extremely high frequency (EHF) is the International Telecommunication

Union (ITU) designation for the band of radio frequencies in the electromagnetic
spectrum from 30 to 300 gigahertz (GHz).

• Supports standard protocols like USB 3.0, DisplayPort, SATA, PCIe.

USB 3.0
USB 3.0 is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard for
interfacing computers and electronic devices. Among other improvements, USB 3.0 adds
the new transfer rate referred to as SuperSpeed USB (SS) that can transfer data at up to
5 Gbit/s full duplex, which is about 10 times as fast as the USB 2.0 standard.

The USB 3.0 SuperSpeed architecture is based on a layered protocol, which

includes a functional layer (executed in software); and a protocol layer, link layer and
physical layer, all executed in hardware.

Functional layer - an application layer and system software on the host side, and a
logical function and device on the device side. The functional layer of USB3.0 is
connected by software pipes. Pipes are the logical connections between host
software and device endpoint.

Protocol Layer - the protocol layer converts requests from the functional layer into
transactions consisting of packets, and manages the end-to-end data flow between
the host and the device.

Packets in USB 3.0 begin at the transmitter protocol layer and end at the
receiver protocol layer. The header and data packets include an address (holding
the device address, endpoint number, and direction); and a route string describing
the path between the host and device. The application data is embedded in the data
packet payload. The host starts all the data transfers, with packets being routed
through all the intermediate hubs to the target device.

Link Layer - manages the port-to-port flow of data between the host and the device. A
Link is the logical and physical connection between two ports (an upstream-facing
port and a downstream-facing port).

Physical Layer - represents the PHY and the actual physical connection between two
ports. The physical portion of the link represents the two differential data pairs: one
transmit path and one receive path.

DisplayPort (DP) is a digital display interface developed by a consortium of PC
and chip manufacturers and standardized by the Video Electronics Standards
Association (VESA). The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display
device such as a computer monitor, and it can also carry audio, USB, and other forms of
The DisplayPort connector can have one, two, or four differential data pairs (lanes)
in a Main Link, each with a raw bit rate of 1.62 (reduced bit rate), 2.7 (high bit rate), 5.4
(HBR2), or 8.1 Gbit/s (HBR3) per lane (6.48, 10.8, 21.6, or 32.4 Gbit/s for a full 4-lane
link) with self-clock running at 162, 270, 540, or 810 MHz. The effective data rates after
decoding are 1.296, 2.16, 4.32, or 6.486 Gbit/s per lane (5.184, 8.64, 17.28, or 25.92 Gbit/s
for a full 4-lane link), or 80% of the total, since data is 8b/10b encoded so each eight bits
of information are encoded with a ten-bit symbol.

is a computer bus interface that connects host bus adapters to mass storage
devices such as hard disk drives, optical drives, and solid-state drives.

Uses full-duplex links

- Protocol only permits frame transfer in one direction at a time
- Each links consists of a transmit and a receive pair

PCI Express
(Peripheral Component Interconnect Express), officially abbreviated
as PCIe or PCI-e, is a high-speed serial computer expansion bus standard, designed to
replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards. PCIe has numerous improvements
over the older standards, including higher maximum system bus throughput, lower I/O pin
count and smaller physical footprint, better performance scaling for bus devices, a more
detailed error detection and reporting mechanism (Advanced Error Reporting, AER), and
native hot-swap functionality. More recent revisions of the PCIe standard provide
hardware support for I/O virtualization.

How is it different from other
Kiss Connectivity not only changes the design of connectors, it changes the way products
are designed.

Additionally, wired communications have a number of limitations, including limited

placement options, a relatively large footprint, low mechanical reliability, and poor signal
integrity. Kiss Connectivity overcomes these limitations with a smaller physical footprint
that can be embedded anywhere, with higher mechanical and electrical reliability.
Innovative Design Possibilities
The typical mechanical connector needed to move data from one device to another takes up
significant space inside mobile and computing devices. These types of connectors also need
to be placed at the outer edge of any device, in order to create a port or contact surface.
What sets Kiss Connectivity apart is the design innovation it enables by allowing product
designers to embed a Keyssa connector inside their product, on any surface, and not just along
the outer edges. By eliminating unsightly holes in otherwise beautiful products, Kiss
Connectivity ushers in a new age in product innovation.
Almost every part and component of mobile and computing devices has seen major innovation
over the past decades, except for the metal connector.

Many of today's connector types are too large for modern mobile and computing devices, such
as smartphones. With data usage increasing, it becomes a challenge to make mechanical
connectors in an acceptable form factor and still maintain signal integrity. Connectors that can
support higher data rates often require differential pins, more pairs of pins and more shielding,
driving up their size.

Kiss Connectivity reinvents the connector by creating a tiny solid-state coffee bean -sized
connector that can be embedded anywhere along the surface of a device. Kiss Connectivity is
no longer visible as the connection is made by an Extremely High Frequency (EHF) signal
over a very short distance.

Mechanical Reliability
Kiss Connectivity is a solid-state solution which eliminates the metal contacts which are
prone to wear-and-tear from repeated consumers' physical connecting and disconnecting
traditional connectors.

With Kiss Connectivity, no physical interconnection is required to transfer data, resulting in
near-zero wear, near -zero potential for corrosion, and near-zero sensitivity to vibration.
Unlike a metal connector with precise pin to pin alignment, Kiss Connectivity does not need
to be perfectly aligned, or inserted carefully in order to make a connection.
Kiss Connectivity permits hermetic sealing of a device against humidity, moisture and electro-
static discharge (ESD). It co-exists with all wireless power standards and will have
configurations that integrate wired power. Combining Kiss Connectivity with wireless power
solutions allows our customers to design a fully contactless system for data and power, and
enables device manufacturers to design completely sealed devices.
Signal Integrity Issues
As the demand for higher data rates increases, mechanical connectors are often susceptible to
signal integrity issues. Connector signal integrity increasingly has become a performance and
reliability limiter. Connectors and cables add discontinuities in transmission paths which in
turn introduce signal loss and reflections, causing increased jitter and puts an upper limit to
data transfer speeds. With Kiss Connectivity, these signal integrity issues are mitigated by the
contactless channel and the elimination of the mechanical connector.
Radio Frequency Interference
In an attempt to meet the ever-increasing market demand to move more data more quickly,
some smartphone manufacturers have incorporated USB 3.0 in their products. However, this
protocol is often disabled due to potential interference between the USB 3.0 and the 802.11
Wi-Fi standard.
The USB 3.0 connector radiates within the 802.11 frequency band. As such, mobile devices
are not often able to take advantage of the increased data rates offered by USB 3.0.

By replacing the metal USB connector with a contactless interface, Kiss Connectivity removes
this potential interference while enabling full USB 3.0 protocol speeds to be achieved.

ESD Considerations
Due to the contactless nature of Kiss Connectivity, the connection has inherently high isolation
properties and potential electrostatic discharge (ESD) issues are mitigated due to the
elimination of exposed pins in metal connectors. In addition, Kiss Connectivity can be
electrically isolated in plastic or other non-conductive materials to further mitigate ESD.

Cost Efficient
Metal connectors inherently have extra fabrication and manufacturing costs. For example, the
physical limitations of placing connectors along the outer edges of a device requires machining
chassis with tight tolerance for connector cutouts. The size of Kiss Connectivity’s solid -state
solution embeds the connector anywhere along a surface of a device, allowing for integration

into even the most area- constrained devices. This means Kiss Connectivity can be integrated
into products using cost efficient standard fabrication processes.
Wireless communications have many shortcomings, including limited data security, low data
rates, unreliable connections, shared bandwidth amongst users, difficult setup, high power and
potential high cost of transferring data over a wireless network. Kiss Connectivity addresses
each of these shortcomings, by enabling a simple, private, secure, and high performance data
connection between two devices. With Kiss Connectivity, users can bypass the cellular
networks for high-speed, localized data transfers that can be up to 95% faster than wireless
Secure Point-to-Point Data Connection
Typical wireless networks provide public, multi-point connections that are not necessarily the
most secure.

Kiss Connectivity provides a private point-to-point connection. Due to the low radiated
power and limited range of the transmission, the links are nearly impossible to tap. This
ensures secure and reliable high-speed data transfers between a pair of devices in close
Ease of Use
Kiss Connectivity allows users to transfer data much more quickly and easily than wireless
networks. Kiss Connectivity does not require any setup in order to perform a data transfer.
Simply place the two devices together, and initiate the transfer of selected data. Kiss
Connectivity, using the USB 3.0 protocol, can transfer a 1 GByte movie in 2 seconds.
Consistently High-Speed Data Rates
Typical wireless networks provide connections with inconsistent data transmission rates. The
rate at which data is transferred across current Wi-Fi or WiGig networks is proportional to the
number of users on the network and the environmental conditions of the network. The more
users connected, the slower the network.

Kiss Connectivity provides a private point-to-point data transmission of up to 6 Gbit/s

depending on the data transmission protocol implemented. This provides consistent high-speed
data transfers between a pair of mated devices, regardless of the number of other devices
present in a given area (such as airports, shopping malls). This is illustrated in Table 1.
Table 1: Data Transfer Rates and Associated Power Consumption

Technology Effective Data Time to Transfer Time to Transfer Power

Rate (1) 1 GByte (2 users) 1 GByte (16 users)Consumption
Keyssa 4 Gbit/s 2s 2s 50 mW

Desktop WiGig 2 Gbit/s 4s >64 s 2500 mW

Mobile WiGig 0.5 Gbit/s 16 s >256 s 500 mW

1. Effective data rate is measured using a USB 3.0 connection over the Keyssa connection. The
raw data rate for USB 3.0 is 5 Gbit/s and the effective data rate is 4 Gbit/s after 8b/10b decoding.
2. For LTE and wireless see Table 2 on page 6.
For example, the current WiGig technology theoretically scales with the number of channels
up to 7 Gbit/s, but uses significant amounts of power relative to Kiss Connectivity in order to
reach this limit. In addition, approximately one-third of the aggregate WiGig data rate of 7
Gbit/s is dedicated to coding overhead. As such, the effective real-world data rate is a fraction
of the theoretical rate. This issue is nearly eliminated with Kiss Connectivity and more of the
data rate is available.

Kiss Connectivity scales linearly depending on the number of devices implemented. For
example, using the USB 3.0 protocol, which has a 5 Gbit/s data rate, the following data rates
can be achieved:

■ 1 pair of connectors supports data rates up to 5 Gbit/s

■ 2 pairs of connectors support data rates up to 10 Gbit/s

■ 4 pairs of connectors support data rates up to 20 Gbit/s

Consistent Upload and Download Data Rates
In the current transfer protocols listed in Table 2, there is often a dramatic difference
between upload and download rates. For example, the effective transmission rate on Wi-
Fi network for uploading data is 20 Mbit/s, and for downloading is 40 Mbit/s. With LTE
cellular networks, the upload rate is approximately 5 Mbit/s, and 20 Mbit/s for
Kiss Connectivity’s point-to-point data transmission rates are symmetric in either direction.
Power Reduction

Kiss Connectivity facilitates high-speed data transfers between devices. Since the overall data
transmission time is dramatically reduced versus existing technologies, battery consumption is
also reduced. Kiss Connectivity data transfers can occur nearly instantaneously while using a
minimal amount of energy.

Table 2 indicates the amount of time and associated battery power to transfer 1 GByte of
data between two devices given various transmission protocols.

Table 2: Comparison of Mobile Connectivity Options

Technology Transfer Medium Time Required Battery Usage

LTE Wireless 1600 s 28%
WiFi Wireless 400 s 3%
USB 2.0 Wired 32 s 1%
Kiss Connectivity
Contactless 2s < 0.1%
using USB 3.0

Kiss Connectivity using USB 3.0 offers more than 50x improvement in power / performance
over a typical wireless network.

Cost of Data Transfer

When traveling, international cellular data plans can be extremely expensive. Data plans in
developing countries are not affordable for a lot of people. With Kiss Connectivity, users can
use local data transfers between devices and avoid expensive costs related to cellular data

Other uses
Kiss Connectivity isn't only bound to transfer the data from one device to other it also has
some other applications. According to the Keyssa below are the devices that can be connected to
a mobile device in order to serve a faster way to channelize the things.
• It can be connected to a display to stream 4K videos
• A dock to add keyboard, monitors and storage devices
• A mobile device dock to seamlessly add keyboard, monitors, and storage devices
• A kiosk to download movies in seconds
• Another mobile to transfer the data with lightning fast speed.

The kiss connectivity works the same way as NFC technology, but it is much more
futuristic and efficient than the NFC. Consider, you need to transfer data from one smartphone to
another and both the devices have kiss connectivity chip inbuilt in them. You just have to touch
the devices or can say make them ‘kiss’ each other to transfer the data with flash speed. The chip
embedded in both device let them connect magnetically and create a channel to transfer the data
• Metal free. No mechanical failures like the wear-and-tear that occurs due to repeatedly
connecting cables or pins.
• No interference. Prevents RFI and EMI signal interference.
• Software transparent. There is no programming overhead or software drivers required.
• Power supply compatible. Co-exists with all wireless power standards and will have
configurations that integrate wired power.
• Very small. Coffee bean-sized connector frees up space for entirely new form factors –
think ultra-thin and sealed.
• Put anywhere. It does not have to be near the edge of the device.
• No exposure. Based on solid state, electromagnetic and materials technology, it's safely
tucked inside the device, protected from life’s mishaps.
• Insanely fast. Data can be transferred at up to 6 Gbit per second. That’s a 1GB movie in
as little as two seconds.
• Power-friendly. Power consumption with Kiss Connectivity is orders of magnitude
lower than wireless solutions.
• Just kiss. Place two devices in close proximity to one another and they will connect and
disconnect automatically.
• Low latency.

• Short Range of Distance.
• Limited Device Compatibility

Devices Supporting Kiss

The Kiss Connectivity technology is not

much popular yet and most of the people are
unaware of this fastest mode of data transfer.
The only device which is currently using this
technology is Acer Aspire Switch 12 S tablet.
Apart from this, there is also news that
upcoming smartphones may have the kiss
connectivity inbuilt in them to transfer the data.
It manages to maintain a reliable, high-
speed connection the device and the keyboard
dock without using any mechanical connectors
or pogo pins.

Apart from this, there are also rumors

that the wireless data transfer technology used in the upcoming Essential Phone is nothing else but
Kiss Connectivity. Given the advantages that Kiss Connectivity has, I am pretty confident that the
some of the flagship smartphones of next year will come with this technology.

Companies Backing Kiss
Being a startup company, Keyssa needed funds to take its venture forward. Taking their
vision into consideration, many big companies have offered large sums, occupying a portion of
the company as equity, to support them financially. Here is a list of these companies:

Being a startup company, Keyssa needed funds to take its venture forward. Taking their vision into

consideration, many big companies have offered large sums, occupying a portion of the company

as equity, to support them financially. Here is a list of these companies:

• Alsop Louie Partners is a risk-oriented technology venture capital firm that offers

financial services to early stage companies.

San Francisco, California, United States

Founded Date Dec 1, 2006

• Dolby Family Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in early stage


San Francisco, CA United States

Founded in 2014

• Foxconn is a multinational electronics contract manufacturing company. Foxconn is

the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer[3]


Founded: February 20, 1974

• Intel Capital Intel's strategic investment organization, backs innovative technology

startups and companies worldwide. It invests in in a range of technology startups and

companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility,

consumer Internet, digital media and semiconductor manufacturing.

Founded: 1991

• NantWorks organization for an ecosystem of companies committed to the convergence

of 21st century innovative platforms to transform how we work, live and play.

• Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center

In addition to these companies, Keyssa raised over $100 million from Tony Fadell – one
of the fathers of the iPod.

For decades, global standards defining Wi-Fi and cellular networks have allowed people
to exchange data over the air. But those technologies are worthless below the waves, and no such
standards have existed for underwater communications.

Satellites and mobile phones, built on international standards, help the world get connected.
But the communications technology we use on land does not work well underwater. As water
covers over 70 per cent of the earth's surface, NATO has sponsored research into establishing the
first ever digital underwater communications standard.

“We live in a time of wild west communications underwater,” says João Alves, a principal
scientist for NATO.

Now, Alves and other NATO researchers have established the first international standard
for underwater communications. Named JANUS, after the Roman god of gateways, it creates a
common protocol for an acoustic signal with which underwater systems can connect.

Underwater acoustic communication is a technique of sending and receiving messages
below water. There are several ways of employing such communication but the most common is
by using hydrophones (acoustic energy into electrical energy).
Underwater communication is difficult due to factors such as multi-path propagation, time
variations of the channel, small available bandwidth and strong signal attenuation, especially over
long ranges. Compared to terrestrial communication, underwater communication has low data
rates because it uses acoustic waves instead of electromagnetic waves.
Underwater communication is challenging, partly due to the nature of the signal and partly
to the harshness of the underwater environment. The speed of sound in water is about 200,000
times slower than the speed of light in air and this makes the underwater communication link
subject to large propagation delays and relatively large motion-induced Doppler effects.

Multipath interference is a common problem in underwater acoustic communications,

especially in shallow water environments. This is when the signal reaches the receiver end of the
acoustic modem via a number of different paths, due to reflections with the seafloor and the water
surface. This creates ‘ghost images’ of the original signal that create frequency selective
interference and degrade the quality of the transmission.
Connectivity dropouts are also a common problem due to the existence of shadow zones
in acoustic channels, which are due to variations in the sound speed profile or the creation of
bubble clouds in the surface region.

Furthermore, the bandwidth available in underwater communications is severely limited

by the transmission loss that increases with the frequency of the signal. This poses serious limits
to the amount of information that can be transmitted through the acoustic link. In particular, long
range communications systems that can operate over tens of kilometers have an effective
bandwidth of only a few kilohertz. Typical data rates for such distances are a few hundred bits per

The Discovery of Underwater Acoustics: Pre-1800s

Aristotle (384–322 BC) was among the first to note that sound could be heard in water as
well as in air.
Nearly 2000 years later, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) made the observation that ships
could be heard at great distances underwater.
Marin Mersenne and Galileo independently discover the laws of vibrating strings,
which Mersenne published in his work L’Harmonie Universelle in the late 1620’s.
In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published the first mathematical theory of how sound travels,
in his great work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

In 1743, Abbé J. A. Nollet conducted a series of experiments to settle a dispute about
whether sounds could travel through water.

The First Studies of Underwater Acoustics: The 1800s

In 1826 on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Jean-Daniel

Colladon, a physicist, and Charles-Francois Sturm, a
mathematician, made the first recorded attempt to determine
the speed of sound in water.
Colladon and Sturm were able to determine the speed
of sound in water fairly accurately with this method. J. D.
Colladon, Souvenirs et Memoires, Albert-Schuchardt,
Geneva, 1893.
In 1838, Charles Bonnycastle performed the first
known echo sounding experiments.
In 1859, Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury, commander
of the U.S. Navy Depot of Charts and Instruments, attempted, unsuccessfully, use sound to
measure the depth of the ocean.
In 1877 and 1878, the British scientist John William Strut, also known as Lord Rayleigh,
published The Theory of Sound, a two volume work often regarded as marking the beginning of
the modern study of acoustics.

The First Practical Uses of Underwater Acoustics: The Early 1900s

In 1889, the American Lighthouse Board mentioned an

alternative underwater bell and microphone system devised by
Lucien Blake.
In 1901, a group of scientists, who believed that
underwater sound would provide the most reliable warning,
formed the Submarine Signal Company.
The carbon-granule microphone developed by Thomas
Edison and his collaborators for the first telephones was
installed in a waterproof container, serving as the hydrophone
to receive the underwater bell signals.
In mid- April 1912, the Submarine Signal Company
asked a consulting engineer, Reginald A. Fessenden, if he
could redesign the hydrophones to filter out such noise.
Fessenden suggested that the sources (bells) be improved instead. Fessenden designed an echo
ranging device. Resembling a high-powered underwater loudspeaker, it both produced and
detected sounds and was later called the “Fessenden Oscillator.”
By the mid-1930’s, practically every submarine used an underwater telegraph system based
upon the Fessenden Oscillator.

World War I: 1914-1918

The use of submarines and underwater mines in WWI profoundly influenced the
development of underwater acoustics.
German submarines (called U-boats) targeted shipping between the United States and
Europe, sinking nearly 10 million tons of cargo in two years, severely crippling the U.S. and
European Allied Forces’ supply lines.

Between World War I and World War II: The 1920s and 1930s

H. Lichte, a German scientist, developed a theory on the bending, or refraction, of sound

waves in sea water. Building on work by Lord Rayleigh and an earlier Dutch astronomer named
Willebrord Snell, Lichte theorized in 1919 that, just as light is refracted when it passes from one
medium to another, sound waves would be refracted when they encountered slight changes in
temperature, salinity, and pressure. He also suggested that ocean currents and changes in seasons
would affect how sound travels in water.

World War II: 1941-1945

The initial underwater research effort during WWII focused on antisubmarine warfare,
motivated by the grim successes of the German U-boats in sinking merchant ships in American

The Cold War: History of the SOund SUrveillance System (SOSUS)

Frederick Hunt, who was the head of Harvard University’s Underwater Sound Laboratory
during WWII, argued that the U.S. Navy could use the SOFAR (for SOund Fixing and Ranging)
channel to detect submarines at distances of hundreds of miles by listening for the noises that they

Under a cloak of great secrecy, late in 1950, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded
the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and its manufacturing arm, Western
Electric, to develop an undersea surveillance system designed to detect and track Soviet
submarines using the SOFAR channel. The initial e􀃗ort was code-named Project Jezebel. The
system that resulted was given the then highly classiffed name SOund Surveillance System

"The last standard for underwater communications was created around 1949; [it was] an
analogue standard,” John Potter explains.
“So, until JANUS, there was no digital protocol that was widely accepted.’’
This lack of any coherent, common method of communication is precisely the gap JANUS
has been created to fill. When Potter joined the NATO Science and Technology Organization’s
Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) as a scientist back in 2009, the project
had already been in the works for a couple of years.

At the beginning of the 20th century, some ships communicated by underwater bells, the
system being competitive with the primitive Maritime radio navigation service of the time. The
later Fessenden oscillator allowed communication with submarines.
Chiara Petrioli, a specialist in underwater sensors and embedded systems at La Sapienza,
the University of Rome, says JANUS could be the first step toward an “Internet of Underwater
Things"—a submerged digital network of sensors and vessels.
NATO Science and Technology Organization’s [Center] for Maritime Research and
Experimentation (CMRE) has developed with newly sponsored research designed to establish the
world’s first-ever acoustic digital underwater communications standard since 24 March 2017
called Janus.

NATO Science and Technology Organization’s [Center] for Maritime Research and
Experimentation (CMRE) has developed with newly sponsored research designed to establish the
world’s first-ever acoustic digital underwater communications standard since 24 March
2017. Called Janus, the new digital alternative has been used by all NATO allies since earlier this
year – and represents the first time a digital underwater communication protocol has been
established at a global level.

NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

• Located in La Spezia, Italy, CMRE organizes and conducts scientific research and
technology development, centered on the maritime domain, delivering innovative
and field-tested science and technology solutions to address defense and security
needs of NATO.
• It is an executive body of NATO's Science and Technology Organization.
• The Centre operates NATO’s two research vessels that enable science and
technology solutions to be explored and developed at sea.

CMRE is working to support effective underwater communication networks to allow

undersea robots to work together and report back home.
Much of this development work is carried out on the Littoral Ocean Observatory
Network, or LOON. The LOON is a test facility, installed in the harbor of La Spezia, Italy that
plays a central role in NATO projects, many of which are developed in partnership with the
European Commission.
CMRE uses the LOON to develop and test communication solutions that contribute to the
protection and monitoring of oceans and rivers by underwater robots.

Littoral Ocean Observatory Network – an underwater test bed

• LOON – a low-cost permanent and web-based test bed – enables users

(international institutions, research groups and commercial entities) across the
world to test underwater communication schemes.
• Acoustic communications equipment deployed on the seabed forms an
underwater acoustic network.
• Individual nodes of the network connected to shore with cables enable remote
control by engineers and scientists.
• Used extensively in support of the development of JANUS and for CMRE's
research in underwater communications.

Typical Wi-Fi devices having a range of anywhere between one to three feet. Water
molecules are actually quite close together with molecule sizes being approximately 0.29nm with
average distances between two water molecules being 0.31nm. This small separation is one of the
reasons why water is very good at absorbing radiation and also one of the reasons why a bright
light will struggle to go further than 100 meters underwater. In fact, the light from the sun does
not typically penetrate further than 200 meters into the ocean, making photosynthesis impossible
at greater depths.

*Epipelagic Zone is the illuminated zone at the surface of the sea where enough light is available
for photosynthesis, ranging from the surface down to around 200m (660ft).

But water's density makes it ideal for a different type of wireless transmission: acoustic.
The denser a material is, the better it is at transmitting sound. Not only does sound travel further
in a denser medium but it also travels at a greater speed (for example, the speed of sound in the air
is 343 m/s while the speed of sound in water is 1,500 m/).

Communication via sound is so practical underwater that the blue whale can communicate
over thousands of miles with other whales just by making low-frequency rumbles. Sound is
currently used in many applications underwater with one of the biggest uses being SONAR (Sound
Navigation and Ranging), where a sound pulse is emitted from a source and the reflected pulse
from objects underwater are received. Using multiple receivers, the size and distance of objects
can be determined, which can greatly help with generating an image of the environment when
there is little to no light. But ranging and navigation is not the only use for sound. Data transmission
is also possible in a near identical matter to normal wireless communication involving error
correction and parity bits.
Radio waves propagate under water at extremely low frequencies (30Hz-300Hz) & require
large antennae and high transmission power. Optical waves do not suffer much attenuation but are
affected by scattering. Acoustic waves are the single best solution for communicating under water.

Acoustics is the branch of physics that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in
gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound.
Acoustic waves are a type of longitudinal waves that propagate by means of adiabatic
compression and decompression. Longitudinal waves are waves that have the same direction of
vibration as their direction of travel. Important quantities for describing acoustic waves are sound
pressure, particle velocity, particle displacement and sound intensity. Acoustic waves travel with
the speed of sound which depends on the medium they're passing through.
The speed of an acoustic wave in a material medium is determined by the temperature,
pressure, and elastic properties of the medium. In air, acoustic waves propagate at 332 m/s (1087
ft/s) at 0°C, at sea level. In air, sound-wave speed increases approximately 0.6 m/s (2 ft/s) for each
kelvin above 0°C. Note 2: Acoustic waves audible to the normal human ear are termed sound
The term sound wave is sometimes confined to waves with the frequency falling within
the audible range of the human ear, i. e. from about 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Waves of frequency greater
than 20 kHz are ultrasonic waves. Waves of frequency 109–1013 Hz are called hypersonic waves.

Underwater acoustics is the study of the propagation of sound in water and the interaction
of the mechanical waves that constitute sound with the water and its boundaries.
Typical frequencies associated with Underwater Acoustics are 10Hz to 1MHz The
propagation of sound in the ocean at frequencies lower than 10 Hz is not possible. Frequencies
above 1 MHz are rarely used because they are absorbed very quickly. Underwater Acoustics is
also known as HYDROACOUSTIC.
The science of underwater acoustics began in 1490, when Leonardo Da Vinci, stated "If
you cause your ship to stop and place the head of a long tube in the water and place the outer
extremity to your ear, you will hear ships at a great distance from you.“
In 1687 Isaac Newton wrote his Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy which
included the first mathematical treatment of sound.
In 1912 sinking of TITANIC and start of World War I, systems for detecting icebergs and
U-boats were developed.

There are currently no digital underwater communications standards. In this paper (The
JANUS Underwater Communications Standard) we describe JANUS, a simple multiple-access
acoustic protocol designed and tested by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and
Experimentation (CMRE) over the past 6 years that provides a basic and robust tool for
collaborative underwater communications. JANUS is in process to become a NATO standard but
is not intended to be solely military nor only for NATO, but also for civil and international
adoption. JANUS is unique in its open and public nature such that academia, industry and
governments may all benefit from its use. The specification of the signal encoding and message
format is fully described so that anyone may construct a transmitter/receiver to communicate via
JANUS to any other compliant platform. While JANUS is deliberately simple to allow easy
adoption by legacy equipment, the protocol also offers the freedom to utilize sophisticated
receivers and decoders allowing performance to be significantly improved.

Underwater acoustic communication

Technique of sending and receiving message below water.

Most commonly employed using hydrophones.
Hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording
or listening to underwater sound. Most hydrophones are basd on a
piezoelectric transducer that generates electricity when subjected to a
pressure change.
Difficult due to factors like multi-path propagation, time variations of the channel, small
available bandwidth and strong signal attenuation.
Underwater communication uses acoustic waves instead of electromagnetic waves.
Acoustic waves are a type of longitudinal waves that propagate by means
of adiabatic compression and decompression. It travel with the speed of
sound which depends on the medium they’re passing through.

Underwater Acoustics is the study of propagation of sound in water & interaction of

mechanical waves that constitute with water & its boundaries.
Typical frequencies associated with Underwater Acoustics are 10Hz to 1MHz
The propagation of sound in the ocean at frequencies lower than 10 Hz is not possible.
Frequencies above 1 MHz are rarely used because they are absorbed very quickly.
Underwater Acoustics is also known as HYDROACOUSTICS.

Factors Affecting Underwater Communication

Multi-path propagation - The mechanisms of multipath formation in the ocean are
different in deep and shallow water, and also depend on the frequency and range of

Two fundamental mechanisms of multipath formation

reflection at boundaries (bottom, surface and any objects in the water)
ray bending (rays of sound always bend towards regions of lower propagation speed).
If the water is shallow, propagation will occur in surface-bottom bounces in addition to a
possible direct path. If the water is deep, as in the regions past the continental shelves, the
sound channel may form by bending of the rays toward the location where the sound speed
reaches its minimum, called the axis of the deep sound channel. Because there is no loss

due to reflections, sound can travel in this way over several thousands of kilometers.
Alternatively, the rays bending upwards may reach the surface focusing in one point where
they are reflected, and the process is repeated periodically. The region between two
focusing points on the surface is called a convergence zone, and its typical length is 60
km-100 km.

Time variations of the channel - Associated with each of the deterministic propagation
paths (macro-multipaths), which can be modeled accurately, are random signal
fluctuations (micro-multipath), which account for the time-variability of the channel
response. These fluctuations include surface scattering due to waves, which is the most
important contributor to the overall time-variability of the shallow water channel. In deep
water, in addition to surface scattering, internal waves contribute to the time-variation of
the signal propagating along each of deterministic paths. Surface scattering is caused by
the roughness of the ocean surface. If the ocean were calm, a signal incident on the surface
would be reflected almost perfectly.
Small available bandwidth
Strong signal attenuation


Future ocean environment will be increasingly complicated.
Radio waves propagate under water at extremely low frequencies (30Hz-300Hz) &
require large antennae and high transmission power.
Optical waves do not suffer much attenuation but are affected by scattering.
Acoustic waves are the single best solution for communicating Underwater.

First time ever for a digital underwater communication protocol to be recognized

at international level.
The protocol opens the way for a standardized Internet of Underwater Things.

The protocol is a way of encoding information into sound simple enough that
existing and new equipment can be brought into compliance with the standard relatively
JANUS has a huge potential to leverage technological investments and create a lot
more value under the water, making all compliant assets (and networks of those) able to
cooperate with a robust signaling method.
Underwater (UW) communication capabilities are currently manufacturer-specific,
generally using proprietary digital coding technologies. There exists no general
interoperable capability for digital UW communication between assets using modems from
different manufacturers Interoperability is an essential feature as maritime operators seek
to integrate an increasingly heterogeneous mix of maritime assets. Currently there are no
existing means to discover other communicating assets to permit the formation of ad-hoc
networks. The establishment of an UW digital communications standard therefore has wide
application in both military and civilian contexts.
Protocol Description – Modulation and Coding Schemes
The physical layer coding scheme is known as Frequency-Hopped (FH) Binary
Frequency Shift Keying (BFSK) FH-BFSK has been selected for its robustness in the harsh
UW acoustic propagation environment and simplicity of implementation.
In the JANUS scheme, binary data is mapped into time - windowed continuous
waveform (CW) tones of unspecified phase, selected from 13 evenly-spaced tone pair
choices spanning the frequency band Bw, which is nominally 1/3 of the Centre frequency
Fc. A core feature of the JANUS specification is that once a frequency band is chosen, the
chip duration Cd, wake-up tone duration (if present) and frequency slot width FS were
calculated directly from the upper and lower band values, while the FH sequence and
reverberation delay time remain constant for any band. Robustness to temporal and
frequency fading is provided by a 1/2convolutional encoder followed by interleaving. Data
corruption is detected by an 8-bit Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC).

The global coalition NATO has financed a research project that aims to form the
first digital underwater communications.
A digital underwater communications system can serve several additional purposes,
such as protecting high-traffic nautical ports, marine surveillance, detecting mines and
other underwater explosives, along with monitoring offshore pipelines and windfarms.

The infographic below goes into detail breaking down how such a digital
underwater communications network would function, along with the components and
devices that would be applied.

Ocean bottom sensor nodes are deemed to enable applications for oceanographic data
collection, pollution monitoring, offshore exploration and tactical surveillance applications.
Multiple Unmanned or Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (UUVs, AUVs), equipped with
underwater sensors, will also find application in exploration of natural undersea resources and
gathering of scientific data in collaborative monitoring missions. To make these applications
viable, there is a need to enable underwater communications among underwater devices.
Underwater sensor nodes and vehicles must possess selfconfiguration capabilities, i.e., they must
be able to coordinate their operation by exchanging configuration, location and movement
information, and to relay monitored data to an onshore station.

Wireless Underwater Acoustic Networking is the enabling technology for these

applications. UnderWater Acoustic Sensor Networks (UW-ASN) consist of a variable number of
sensors and vehicles that are deployed to perform collaborative monitoring tasks over a given area.
To achieve this objective, sensors and vehicles self organize in an autonomous network which can
adapt to the characteristics of the ocean environment.

Ocean Sampling Network:

New robotic vehicles with advanced ocean models like AUV ‘s and network of sensors
observe and predict the characteristics of the oceanic environment.

Environmental Monitoring:

With the rapid development of society and the economy, an increase number of human
activities have gradually destroyed the marine environment. So marine monitoring is a vital
problem. Wireless sensor node has recently been considered as an alternative for monitoring
marine environment. They have number of advantages such as unmanned operation, easy
deployment, real time monitoring and relatively lower cost.

Undersea Explorations:

There are large numbers of minerals present underwater which is required to be explored
such as oil and gas. Underwater cables are deployed which brings some of the basic social
necessitates such as oil, gas pipelines and fibre optic cable.

Disaster Prevention:

Underwater earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunami are the natural disasters and cause
danger to the living things. These natural calamities can occur anytime and anywhere on the

Assisted Navigation:

Underwater environment is extremely uneven, unexplored, random and dark with

increasing depth. In such environment there is need of assistance for navigating the boats, ships
and explorers. In order to locate, guide and navigate there is a need of assistive technologies,
system and application which could be used in underwater.

Distributed Tactical Surveillance:

Nowadays ocean monitoring system gather the information from ocean surface, coastal
lines. UWSN can be deployed to perform collaborative monitoring tasks in ocean environment.

• Acoustic waves propagate over a long distances.

The signals that carry digital information in an underwater medium are acoustic signals
which are primary carriers for underwater wireless communication due to relatively low
absorption in underwater environment.
• Compatibility with all underwater equipment
Since it is new at a global level, all kinds of manufacturers of underwater vessels and
equipment can incorporate it.
• Comprehensive Application
Autonomous exploration and deep buoys are getting the ability to communicate with each
other, in addition with underwater communication is a big help for research works such
as oceanographic data collection, pollution monitoring, offshore exploration and assisted

• The available bandwidth is strictly limited

Unlike terrestrial wireless communication which uses radio signals that don’t interfere
with each other because they operate on different frequency bands, the Janus protocol
works only on establishing communication between two underwater devices on a single
frequency – 11.5 kHz. After the initial communication between two underwater vessels
or robots, Janus allows them the option to switch to a different frequency for more
elaborate communication.
• Network designed for quick ratification and communication do not work
The above is stated because acoustic signals move more slowly than radio waves, taking
2 seconds to travel back and forth across a 1.5 kilo meters distance.
• Low data rates
Compared to terrestrial wireless communication, underwater communication has low data
rates because it uses acoustic waves instead of electromagnetic waves.
• Severe multipath
Acoustic wave can reach a certain point through a multiple paths. In a shallow
environment, where the transmission distance is larger than the water depth, wave
reflections from the surface and the bottom generate multiple arrivals of the same signals.
• Low speed of sound propagation
The extremely slow propagation speed of sound through water is an important factor that
differentiates it from electromagnetic propagation. The speed of sound in water depends
on the water properties of temperature, salinity and pressure (directly related to the depth)
• Ambient Noise
It is defined as the noise associated with the background emanating from unidentified
sources. The common sea-surface noise source includes the surface-ship radiated noise,
breaking waves associated with ensuing bubble production and also deep water noises
mainly from marine animals.
• Signal propagation is affected by refraction, absorption and scattering through the
The signal can bounce off the seafloor and other underwater geographic structures,
including softer mediums such as the ocean’s surface and layers of water separated by
difference in temperature or density.

• Strong signal attenuation
Attenuation is a gradual loss in intensity as a signal moves through a medium which is
greater in liquid compared to air.
• Underwater sensors are prone to fail because of fouling and corrosion
Wireless underwater sensors nodes are battery operated as well. It is limited and usually
batteries cannot be recharged. These sensors are prone to corrosion since they are situated
on liquid medium.
• Vulnerable for malicious attacks
It is typically vulnerable to malicious attacks due to the unique characteristics of an
underwater acoustic communication channel (e.g., low communication bandwidth, long
propagation delays and high bit error rates.)