This project was made while a resident at Eyebeam during 2014-2015. The Mic Jammer is an ultrasonic security system that gives people the confidence to know that their smart phone microphones are non-invasively muted. It blasts a ton of ultrasonic noise at a iPhone mems microphone that is above the range of human hearing but still within the sensitive range of the mic.
Here is a video explanation I did for FAT GOLD (the last fffff.at show ever) held in San Francisco:
And here is the video I made to accompany the Eyebeam installation:
My description at the time: We now know that there are machines, cameras and algorithms everywhere that are listening to us. The creepiness and ensuing privacy debacle of products such Hello Barbie and the Samsung Smart Tv, both of which have microphones constantly listening, have been the most frequently mentioned products as of late.
But what about our smart phones, the personal tracker we carry everywhere? What about when you’re having a face-to-face conversation and you wish that the microphone would be turned off (but you still need to use your phone)? Or what about those apps that have access to your microphone? What are they doing with that data? Don’t you wish you could just ‘turn off’ different aspects of hardware, like your microphone or camera?
This requires a hardware, not a software solution because software is infinitely hackable but you can guarantee through hardware that software can’t work.
This device that we made is like taping over your webcam, but for audio.
It’s a collaboration with Eric Rosenthal, with whom I have been collaborating since he was my professor at ITP, along with Andy Sigler, who has also helped make some PCBs.