Thought the only person who could read your text was the creep looking over your shoulder on the subway? Think again. A little program called iSpy can read what’s being typed on a smartphone from nearly 200ft away.
Created by Jan-Michael Frahm and Fabian Monrose from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the software is able to distinguish the letters being typed on a smartphone from about 200ft using HD footage captured from a DSLR. Using footage off a smartphone's camera limits the useful distance of capture to about 10 feet.
The software analyzes the footage by identifying those huge pop-up letters that have become so prevalent on touchscreen keyboards. This allows the software to know which key has been pressed. Sometimes pop ups overlap, but the program is reportedly 90% accurate when it comes to guessing, based on context, which letter was pressed if there is any overlap.
Turning one's back might not prevent those trying to spy on your texts from doing so, the software can even capture footage from reflections in windows or a persons glasses and successfully decode the texts. Somehow, I don’t see a mobile version of this software hitting the App Store any time soon. Invasions of privacy like this don’t tend to go over well unless the creators want to license it to government agencies. Hooray for Big Brother seeing everything I do.
Anyone have a text-disguise app they’d like to recommend or develop?