Mit Researchers Can Listen To Your Conversation By Watching Your Potato Chip Bag – The Washington Post

The reconstructed audio of someone reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb in the same room as the chips isnt crystal clear. But the words being said are possible to decipher. In most cases, a high-speed camera is necessary to accomplish the feat. Still, at 2,000 to 6,000 frames per second, the camera used by the researchers is nothing compared to the best available on the market, which can surpass 100,000 frames per second. And the researchers found that even cheaper cameras could be used. Its surprisingly possible to take advantage of a bug called rolling shutter, Davis said. Usually, it creates these artifacts in the image that people dont like. When cameras use rolling shutter to capture an image, they dont capture one single point in time. Instead, the camera scans across the frame in one direction, picking up each row at a slightly different moment. By doing so, the camera happens to encode information at a much higher rate than its actual frame rate. For the researchers, that meant being able to analyze vibrations that should have happened too quickly for capture on film. It kind of turns a two-dimensional low-speed camera into a one-dimensional high-speed camera, Davis explained.
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