It is no secret that our smartphones and, possibly, other smart devices like smart speakers and whatnot, can eavesdrop on us. Unlike web camera which shutting it off is a masking tape away, we can’t simply tape up microphones to stop a device from snooping on us – that’s if you can even locate the mic.
Anywho, but not all hopes are lost for the paranoia – thanks to the researchers at University of Chicago. The researchers built an experimental bracelet that is capable of jamming most microphones.
A total of 24 miniature speakers around a bracelet-like device puts out ultrasonic noise that kind of ‘leak’ into the audible range of a built-in amplifier, this rendering masking the environment sound like conversation from the device.
Check out a video after the break to see it in action to learn how it works.
The bracelet design is by no accident, btw. It was intentional to ensure omnidirectional jamming. Thanks in part to the fact the jammer isn’t stationery since our hand gestures as we talk, it greatly reduces blind spots.
Before you get all excited about this wearable microphone jamming device, you have to know it is not available commercially. If you want one, you have to roll up your sleeves to make one yourself.
However brilliant this device is, it shares the same ethical concerns as cellphone jammers. In other words, it could be misused to cause unnecessary disruption to the public. That said, I am sure a couple of government agencies in the U.S. must be very interested “looking into the device.” Just saying…
Images: YouTube (HCI lab UChicago).