It is not known if it will be for work or entertainment, but it certainly takes a lot of ingenuity to imagine that it is possible to guess what is being talked about in a room just looking at a light bulb that is on. But they have succeeded and, of course, as a method of espionage is priceless … unless someone gives to run the curtains.
And they just discovered that analyzing the vibrations that are produced by the action of sound waves in a light bulb it is possible to listen remotely a conversation, or a song, without problems. As if we were in front of it, which is a milestone for those security agencies that are so eager to know what they say about others.
Look into the light and listen
This system they just developed It is called Lamphone and it is just as the word that has been invented, a mixture of the light bulb and telephone because it is possible to analyze what is being said in a house with many meters of distance, up to 25. And its foundation is very simple because what this system does is to analyze the vibrations that are generated in the light bulb by the impact of sound waves, and affecting the light it emits, in such a way that it is possible to reconstruct the source that causes them.
To start this Lamphone, an electro-optical sensor is necessary that allows scrutiny of the smallest detail of each change in the light that occurs in the bulb. Subsequently, that signal captured by the sensors must be channelled through a remote surveillance device such as a telescope.
Once we can capture that analogue signal that is generated naturally in the light bulb, just it must be transformed into another digital one thanks to a DAC, to convert it back into a sound that we can hear. Wired, which is the medium that has published this research, shows two examples of how it is possible to reconstruct what is being heard in a room many meters away. And the results are surprising because both President Trump’s words, and a Coldplay song, are fully identifiable when they go through the Lamphone process.
Of course, despite the enormous sophistication that the idea of this espionage system exudes, everything can fall apart if that person they are spying on decides to draw the curtains or lower the blinds. That would end everything.