MIT scientists eavesdrop using a bag of chips, plant leaves

MIT scientists eavesdrop using a bag of chips, plant leaves

Published time: August 05, 2014 01:44

James Bond used an electric razor as an eavesdropping device. Lucy Ricardo (and many others) used a glass of water. But now MIT researchers say they can photograph a bag of potato chips to listen in on other’s conversations.

Computer scientists and engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology joined with colleagues at Microsoft Research and to create an algorithm that reconstructs audio signals from everyday items like a bag of chips, aluminum foil or the leaves of a potted plant.

“When sound hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate,” Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and first author on the new paper, said in a statement by the school. “The motion of this vibration creates a very subtle visual signal that’s usually invisible to the naked eye. People didn’t realize that this information was there.”

RT

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