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Home / News / This lightbulb secretly records conversations and posts them to Twitter

This lightbulb secretly records conversations and posts them to Twitter

We've seen the future of desk lamps, and we're a little terrified

Two artists have decided that you’re not paranoid enough about your privacy, so they’ve created an eavesdropping lightbulb which posts everything it hears to Twitter. Eep.

The Coversnitch as its affectionately called, is powered by a Raspberry Pi which is hidden in a flowerpot housing, along with a bulb. 

Recorded conversations are sent to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, where real people are paid small sums to manually transcribe the sneakily recorded dialogue.

Secretly recorded conversations

"I’m not pestering you, hun, I’m just asking why you didn’t get the job!"

"So you are posting stuff you don’t want me to see. What are you posting about?"

"Yes, and I know that they will get over you failing chemistry, it’s not the end of the world, bro!"

"It’s twitter. It’s just twitter. Settle down. Screw it, I’ll unfollow her if you really want."

"Are you sure you want to be talking about this? I really don’t know if this is the place."

"For the tenth time, it’s because my boss doesn’t like me, I’ve told you this already!"

"I just don’t see the big different between Macs and PCs. I would rather go the cheaper route."

Project creators Brian House and Kyle McDonald have stated that they want the installation to alarm people and draw their attention to the surveillance-heavy culture we’re all living in. And we reckon they’ve done a pretty good job at achieving just that.

They’ve gone as far as installing bulbs in public spaces across New York City, and you can check out covertly obtained conversations on the Coversnitch Twitter feed.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got a Faraday cage, a portable EMP generator and a deluxe tinfoil hat to purchase.

READ MORE: These smashed lightbulbs are frozen in time, forever

[Coversnitch, The Creators Project, via Engadget]

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

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