CHICAGO: 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 devices’ spying abilities – a wearable 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.
While these ultrasonic signals are undetectable to human ears, they leak into the audible spectrum after being captured by the microphones, producing a jamming signal inside the microphone circuit disrupts voice recordings.
The team chose to design the technology into a bracelet because it uses the wearer’s natural gestures that occur while speaking, gesturing or moving around to blur out the blind spots.
The bracelet was designed by a team at the University of Chicago, which can also jam the microphones on a smart assistant.
The wearable is easily activated when a person starts talking because it uses their natural hand movements to power on.
Inside the cuff is a wave generator that creates the ultrasound jamming signal, which produces a wave up to 12.5MHz.
There is also a microprocessor inside, LED status indicator and a LiPo battery.
Researchers found that the wearable device is 96 percent effective in jamming devices in the surrounding area.
For now, the bracelet remains to be a prototype.
But according to the researchers, they could be manufactured for only $20.