MIT researchers have partially reconstructed speech by observing video of a vibrating bag of potato chips. Yes, you read that right: they have discovered how to spy on conversations based on the video recording of objects in the same room. The video explanation is below:
Essentially, the airwaves from sound vibrate nearby objects in a unique way. With subtle detection measures, a computer can reconstruct the pattern into sound. In the video, they demonstrate both reconstructed sound and conversation, even from commercial-grade cameras.
The technology isn’t ready for prime-time spying yet. But, given that this is academic research, it’s easy to imagine how this kind of universal spying will be available in the future. Private conversations may become a lot less private quite soon.