Smartphone to Detect Hidden Spy Cameras

  • 30th Dec'21
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Do you use your smartphone camera to take most of the pictures? Have you considered camera quality before buying your current smartphone? I am pretty confident that the answer to both of the questions asked is a "Yes" for most smartphone users. And the reason behind it is the growth of the camera system in our smartphones. Overtime cameras in smartphones have become its primary selling point. With several lenses added for taking dedicated photos, smartphones have smartly replaced the need for a traditional camera. Nowadays, smartphone users conveniently rely on their cameras to take quality pictures. But do you know that soon your camera will be able to do more?

Yes, it will. Researchers are working on technology that will enable your smartphone cameras to detect hidden spy cameras in places such as public and private such as hotel rooms. The technology will likely identify the location of the hidden spy cameras. So, how will it tentatively work? Let's take a look.


Spy Camera


Working of Smartphone to Detect Hidden Spy Cameras

The potential new feature will use the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor on many newer models to detect the hidden spy cameras. It became possible after a team of researchers discovered that the ToF sensor's laser can do more than just create better-looking images. The intense beam causes abnormal reflections when it hits something like a camera lens. The sensor helps a smartphone analyze depth information about a photographed scene, and it does this by emitting a laser. After this, the emitting rays return to the sensor, and the phone can analyze the collected data and use it to optimize the camera settings.


Hidden Camera


The Outcome of The Custom Smartphone to Detect Hidden Spy Camera

The custom app developed by the researchers is capable of detecting hidden cameras with a success rate of almost 90%. However, it would only be about half as effective if you visually scan a room for cameras. Meanwhile, the commercial detection devices are better, but about 60% of its detection rate is still well below what the research team's achieved. The smartphone and app solution is also very good at avoiding false positives. It's about half as likely they won't notice they found a camera compared to a commercial detection device.

Why Will It Be A Breakthrough Addition to Smartphones?

Suppose the researchers can pull the ToF sensor technology in smartphone cameras to help people effectively. After all, hidden spy cameras are notoriously getting more popular to invade people's privacy. In recent years, there have been numerous complaints from AirBNB users globally. All search rates for "How to detect hidden spy cameras in rental spaces?" have increased significantly in recent times.

Read More: The Potential of AI and Human Collaboration 

Some Common Ways to Detect Hidden Spy Cameras

While the smartphone camera might still take some time to perfect its ability to detect hidden spy cameras, here are a few methods to detect spy cameras.


Hire a Qualified Expert

The most reliable way to find hidden spy devices is to let a qualified technician with professional equipment do the searching. Furthermore, such experts are found in almost every city easily.


Use Dedicated Equipment to Detect Hidden Spy Cameras

You can buy electromagnetic radiation detectors, optical detectors, and other devices to detect hidden cameras and use them to check each room yourself. Furthermore, you can manually assemble the simplest optical hidden spy camera detector. All you need to do are gather some red LEDs and a red light filter. Point the light at the suspicious spot on the camera and look through the filter. Any visible camera lens will appear as a bright spot. However, the range of such devices must not exceed more than ten meters (approximately 30 feet). 


Use a Smartphone

You can also detect hidden spy cameras without any special equipment. All you need to do is use your smartphone camera and a flashlight. Please turn off the lights, close the curtains (the room should be dark), turn on the phone's flashlight and camera, and point them where you think the device is hidden. You will see a glow on the smartphone screen if your suspicions are correct. If you can't use the phone's camera and flashlight simultaneously, use a separate flashlight.

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*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

Sunny Samanta, OpenGrowth Content Team

A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.

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