If you feel paranoid about internet security and surveillance, then Coversnitch desk lamp is going to make it even worse for you. Coversnitch lamp by New York-based artists Kyle McDonald and Brian House, when installed, can listen to any nearby conversations and posts transcribed audio snippets to Twitter. Designed primarily to experiment with surveillance, the lamp is a good example of how anything in the public or private space can be revealed to the world by web connected devices we carry in our pockets.
Coversnitch costs less than $100 and is device powered by a Raspberry Pi computer. It features a sensitive microphone, a small LED array, and a lightly modified flower pot. The Coversnitch can be fixed easily to a standard light bulb socket and once connected to a power supply it starts to record the surrounding conversations. It works in any place with a Wi-Fi network like restaurant, library or home. After recording a snippet of a conversation nearby, it uses the nearest Wi-Fi network to upload the audio to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform, where the snippet is transcribed and then posted out on Coversnitch Twitter account.
Knowing about Coversnitch, people could tend to worry about their privacy and the way their trust could be violated, if someone misused the device. So, designer duo has justified that the device is just to create a buzz about security in places we call private and public. Keeping you wondering on that note, we’d like you to take a sneak peek of few conversations recorded by Coversnitch and posted on its Twitter account.