Wearable Audio Jamming Technology
Speech and writing are two of the fundamental methods of communication between people. Of the two methods, communication-based on speech has been widely used in daily life and now the wearable device has developed a lot, even after the invention of writing, because it allows for communication using only the human body, and one-to-many broadcasting is easily achieved.
We live in the twenty-first century when it is said that communication is the most important means of resolving conflicts. However, there are still many cases in which the negative aspects of speech become a barrier to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, sometimes further harming society. Audio Jamming Technology has been discovered to sort out this problem.
Audio Jamming Technology:
Audio jammers are popular tools used during confidential meetings. They produce a unique sound for masking and protecting conversations from external listening devices, such as a smartphone running an audio recording app, hidden in one of your guest’s pocket in the earlier days.
In this modern era, smart speakers, like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, have come under fire over the past few years for ‘listening’ to its owner’s conversations.
“Now, a team of scientists believe they have developed the ultimate weapon to block the device’s spying abilities – a wearable device that jams the microphone”.
Dubbed the ‘bracelet of silence‘, the chunky bracelet is fitted with 23 speakers around it that emit ultrasonic signals that drown out any speech of the wearer.
Modern wearable bracelet jams microphone:
The scientist engineered a wearable microphone jammer that is capable of disabling microphones in its user’s surroundings, including hidden microphones. The device is based on a recent exploit that leverages the fact that when exposed to ultrasonic noise, commodity microphones will leak the noise into the audible range.
Moreover, the device exploits the synergy between ultrasonic jamming and the naturally occurring movements that users induce on their wearable devices (e.g., bracelets) as they gesture or walk. The researchers demonstrate that these movements can blur jamming blind spots and increase jamming coverage.
Lastly, the wearable bracelet is built in a ring-layout that allows it to jam in multiple directions. This is beneficial in that it allows the jammer to protect against microphones hidden out of sight.
Despite the initial excitement around voice-based smart devices, consumers are becoming increasingly nervous with the fact that these interactive devices are, by default, always listening, recording, and possibly saving sensitive personal information.
Therefore, it is critical to building tools that protect users against the potential compromise or misuse of microphones in the age of voice-based smart devices.
“Recently, researchers have shown that ultrasonic transducers can prevent commodity microphones from recording human speech”.
While these ultrasonic signals are imperceptible to human ears, they leak into the audible spectrum after being captured by the microphones, producing a jamming signal inside the microphone circuit that jams (disrupts) voice recordings. The leakage is caused by an inherent, nonlinear property of microphone’s hardware.
However, all these devices exhibit two key limitations:
(1) They are heavily directional, thus requiring users to point the jammer precisely at the location where the microphones are. This is not only impractical, as it interferes with the user’s primary task, but is also often impossible when microphones are hidden.
(2) They rely on multiple transducers that enlarge their jamming coverage but introduce blind spots locations were the signals from two or more transducers cancel each other out. If a microphone is placed in any of these locations it will not be jammed, rendering the whole jammer obsolete.
The wearable devises to avoid faults:
To tackle these shortcomings, the researchers at the University of Chicago devised a wearable jammer that is worn as a bracelet. The device itself a bulky bracelet with ultrasonic emitters at regular intervals and an internal battery for power came about owing to a dispute over the utility versus privacy nature of smart voice-activated assistant systems.
“By turning an ultrasonic jammer into a bracelet, the device leverages natural hand gestures that occur while speaking, gesturing or moving around to blur out the aforementioned blind spots”.
Furthermore, by arranging the transducers in a ring layout, the wearable jams in multiple directions and protects the privacy of its user’s voice, anywhere and anytime, without requiring its user to manually point the jammer to the eavesdropping microphones.
They confirmed that an ultrasonic microphone jammer is superior to state-of-the-art and commercial stationary jammers by conducting a series of technical evaluations and a user study. These demonstrated that:
(2) Its jamming is effective even if the microphones are hidden and covered by various materials, such as cloths or paper sheets
(3) In a life-like situation, their study participants felt that the wearable protected the privacy of their voice.
Future scope of wearable jammers:
In future, the audio wearable jammer will evolve as a video jammer that will be useful in various aspects. The video jammer, as its name indicates, is essentially used to block the frequency of a camera recorder or a transceiver.
The arrival of a video block can be of great help and enable you to concentrate on your key points. Since this certain gadget is compact and handy, you can take it everywhere without any notice.
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