App turns smartphone into spy gadget

New York, Aug 18 : How about turning your smartphone into a spy gadget? It’s possible with a new app. Researchers from Stanford University with Israeli defence firm Rafael have developed an Android app called Gyrophone that picks up vibrations of sound by using vibrating pressure plates in the phone’s gyroscope.

The tiny gyros in your phone that measure orientation do so using vibrating pressure plates. The app picks frequencies in the 80-250Hz range – the base frequencies of the human voice, rt.com reported. ”The MEMS gyroscopes found on modern smartphones are sufficiently sensitive to measure acoustic signals in the vicinity of the phone,” researchers said.

Using signal processing and machine learning, this information is sufficient to identify speaker information and even parse speech, they added. ”Our results show that apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone can nevertheless eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone,” scientists reported on the Stanford Security Research website.