No one really knows what the new normal post-pandemic will look like. But Israeli startup Sonarax is sure of one thing: many people will be wary of touching elevator buttons, ATM touchpads, and intercoms for a while to come.

Employing technology developed by Roni Papo ’07, Sonarax is ready for the new touchless reality. The company is rolling out technology that uses soundwaves to transfer data between any two devices, provided each is equipped with a speaker and microphone. Users hold their phone near the access pad of an office building, for example, activate the app and the audio signals communicate. And because soundwaves can measure distance and positioning, Sonarax software can be used for social distancing. Some European universities have already used the ultrasonic data connectivity to verify attendance and a European museum has used it for indoor navigation and information.

“It all began with Roni Papo, an engineer from the Technion, who had the vision and passion to harness soundwaves in order to deliver data,” said Sonarax Chief Commercial Officer Nimrod May. Mr. Papo, who earned his Technion degree in electrical engineering and is now a project manager at the global electronics company KLA-Tencor, developed algorithms to send data in small packages over soundwaves.