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Your Smartphone Can 'Read' What You're Typing On A Nearby Computer Simply By Detecting Keystroke Vibrations

Dylan Love
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Using nothing more than a smartphone resting next to a laptop, researchers at MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new technique for logging your keystrokes based on sound and vibration.

In the paper on the project, they describe that a stationary smartphone is capable enough to translate typing sounds into actual text by estimating where on a keyboard the stroke landed based on its volume and force.

By "teaching" the phone a dictionary of words based on what they sound like typed out, they were able to get accurate text in return. Initially the accuracy was quite good, but as they added more and more words to this dictionary, it became less accurate in its interpretation.

It's a pretty strong reminder that our devices are getting more and more versatile, enabling all kinds of new applications, good and bad alike. A smartphone is one of the most innocuous devices we see every day, and this is an unpleasant (but healthy) reminder to be mindful of your security as our technology becomes more and more developed.

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