Hacker News Re-Imagined

Spy Camera Detection Using Smartphone Time-of-Flight Sensors

  • 290 points
  • 4 hours ago

  • @Nirali_Feige
  • Created a post
  • • 83 comments

Spy Camera Detection Using Smartphone Time-of-Flight Sensors


@ww520 2 hours

Replying to @Nirali_Feige 🎙

Does the app take pictures to find the lens? Or videos?

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@qwertox 40 minutes

Here's a demo video [0] of the app. It is embedded in the author's website [1]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFjGQNaqmXA

[1] https://sriramsami.com/research/

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@anthomtb 2 hours

The acronym should be removed from the HN title. LAPD does nothing but sow confusion when used as the first word here.

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@errcorrectcode 2 hours

Molka is/was a problem in Korea. I wonder how it compares to SpyFinder Pro which seems like it's 95%+.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spyassociates/spyfinder...

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@cf100clunk 1 hour

"Tiny hidden spy cameras concealed in sensitive locations including hotels and bathrooms are becoming a significant threat worldwide." I think motel room tenting and indoor foil-wearing might seem to be more justifiable, less paranoiac. Who knew?

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@woeirua 2 hours

I wonder how hard it would be to engineer a material that you can put on top of the hidden camera lens that would greatly diffuse the specific frequency range of light that these ToF sensors use while permitting mostly visible light through? If so, it might be possible to defeat this approach relatively easily.

Looking at what the DL filter is doing, I wonder how well this really generalizes. It seems that many of those examples are virtually indistinguishable to a human (hence the high false positive rate for the naked eye experiments).

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@aaronax 30 minutes

This reminds me in a way of the yacht with a system that detects cameras taking a picture of the yacht and sends a beam towards the camera to wash out the image.

https://petapixel.com/2012/10/28/worlds-largest-private-yach...

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@coretx 2 hours

Did the Rubidium price go up already ? ;-)

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@jeffbee 2 hours

I'm having a hard time seeing how the obsolete and not exactly tiny OV2640 was crammed into that electrical plug. The integrated module is a 10mm cube with a 1/4" lens and to be useful it needs a power supply and either a storage controller or wireless network interface.

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@SubiculumCode 3 hours

LAPD is not the Los Angeles Police Department, despite what we all were thinking.

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@elric 3 hours

So, could this be used to find better hiding spots for hidden cameras?

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@raldi 2 hours

"Specifically, the hidden camera [...] reflects the incoming laser pulses at a higher intensity than its surroundings due to an effect called lens-sensor retro-reflection. This occurs when almost all light energy impacting an object is reflected directly back to the source"

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@micahcc 3 hours

It took me a full minute to realize this wasn't the Los Angeles Police Department's R&D division

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@jcun4128 2 hours

> system that leverages the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor on commodity smartphones

I think only the high end iPhones/iPad have these type of cameras right now right?

I'd also be curious about the exact angle you have to hit to get a reflection

Probably wouldn't work but bright flash in a room?

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@z3t4 1 hour

If the spy camera has infrared leds then you can detect those by removing the infrared filter from a camera, can be done on some smartphone cameras programmatically I think.

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@SubiculumCode 3 hours

I was really hoping that they had an app I could install, as they implemented LAPD on Android.

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@jaywalk 3 hours

You have to go to the second page of the full PDF to even see what LAPD stands for, which is Laser-Assisted Photography Detection. They need to be more mindful of this, especially when they made up the acronym themselves.

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@fortran77 2 hours

I was working on a project like this and we relied on the fact that the IR filter on most cameras was a retro reflector. Remove the IR filter and the camera will be harder to find. I think the technique here also depends on the IR filter’s characteristics.

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@injidup 1 hour

I know a woman who discovered a hidden camera in the female toilet at work disguised as some kind of utility hook on the door. Cheap to buy on amazon!! The SD card inside had pictures of the company owner's desk but not an actual picture of him. The police declined to prosecute because of lack of evidence.

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@frizensami 2 hours

Hey! Sriram here, author of this work. I'd be glad to answer any questions. There's also a short talk I gave about this here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4Txdhlji4k) if that's helpful!

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