WATCH: How hackers are now using 'light bulbs' for spying purposes

They have most definitely evolved!

Researchers at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel carried out a study that revealed fascinating insights about the light bulb. They suggested that hackers, within a 25-meter radius, can now spy on conversations using just a light bulb.

There is a justified science behind this seemingly fictional method known as Lamphone: a telescope and an electro-optical sensor. The telescope is used to focus the optical sensor on a light bulb. The remote electro-optical sensor then analyzes changes in the light bulb’s frequency response to sound waves.

How does the electro-optical sensor analyze changes?

It does this by noticing the subtle variations on the light bulb’s surface. The analysis then continues by isolating an audio signal from an optical signal through specially developed algorithms. The divided output is then passed through a voice-to-text application (like Google Speech) for translation.

The researchers claim that the Lamphone works equally well with singing too, as the method was able to recognize songs being played at 25-meters using applications like Shazam and SoundHound.

The study states:

Lamphone recovers sound optically via an electro-optical sensor, which is directed at a hanging bulb.

This direct quote from the study shows that the accuracy of transcription will be high if the bulb is hanging from the ceiling and is in the clear vision of the sensor. Moreover, the specifics of the telescope used in the process will represent the optimal range of Lamphone.

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