Your light bulbs are spying on you!

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posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:37 AM
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Well, not really. But LEDs can be used as input devices if the system they are connected to is designed for it.


LEDs as input devices

LEDs are fairly straightforward to use — just put them in series with a current-limiting resistor and apply forward voltage to produce light of whatever color the LED is designed for.

What isn’t as well-known, though, is that LEDs can also be used as photodetectors, sensitive to the color of light that they emit. This is a somewhat nonstandard use of an LED, but requires no more components than a standard blinking-LED project — an LED, a current-limiting resistor, and a microcontroller.

The trick is to run the LED backwards, reverse-biasing it for a short time (a microsecond is more than enough) — then disconnect the input (tristating the microcontroller I/O pin), and time how long it takes for the voltage to be reduced to below the TTL low threshold. Some leakage current will flow across the LED even in darkness, lowering the voltage towards zero with a time constant on the order of perhaps a few hundred microseconds. When brightly illuminated with light of the correct wavelength, however, a much greater photocurrent will flow, lowering the voltage on the pin in a few tens of microseconds.

www.paleotechnologist.net...


Wonder how possible it would be to spy on people on a large scale using this technique?
edit on 22/8/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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As a simple bulb there would be just 3 bytes of information: red, green, blue = average color of your desk/wall/floor/whatever the buld looks at.

Using some sort of lens would be more useful.

What about the data-channel? WiFi? 3G? Integrated in the lamp? Well, possibly.


But what about your LCD-TV? Much bigger. Many more pixels. Better turn it to the wall if unused, right?

Sorry, just messing with you. The data-link is missing or would clog your bandwidth.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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And they thought I was mad when I said the toaster was recording all of my conversations... But yea interesting to think what they could come up with, especially with the input technology of today.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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nah , not lightbulbs . TV / Radio , that`s how they "spy on you".

2nd



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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I thoink they have a better chance of spying on you through your I-phone/ smart phone, and CPU



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


LED Computer Monitors are fairly popular now, replacing those old LCD models with sharper picture clarity.

Fun stuff.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 09:49 AM
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Gaaaaahhh, I was always good at mechanical logic but totally hopeless at electrical/electronic stuff. I managed to understand mostly up until the words "tristating the microcontroller I/O pin" and that was it, the shutters came down on the gateway of understanding and there after I was reading what felt like gobbledygook with the odd connecting word in English.

I have read though, that the flicker rate of the 'energy saving' bulbs can be used to spy on you though via signals from your pc.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by C0bzz
 


LED Computer Monitors are fairly popular now, replacing those old LCD models with sharper picture clarity.

Fun stuff.




Ermmmm, that is just marketing hype. All laptop monitors are still LCD, the onliest thing that happened was that the backlightning changed from CCFL to LED's. The rest of the screen is exactly the same as what it has been. In the future things might change as OLED displays of that size becomes affordable.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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So, how exactly is your lightbulb going to spy on you with this setup?

The only information it would send if it could is that the lights are on or off, which it knows anyway because the power to the lightbulb would change with those conditions, defeting the need for the LED/microcontroler setup.

That brings up another point. The bulb would have to have a battery on board as well so that it could transmit the all important lights off data when the power to the bulb is switched off.

No standard LED lightbulb has a microcontroler in it, nor does it have a device for transmitting information to the spy.

You might as well install a whole microphone, power supply, and transmitter in a custom bulb so you can get any useful data, which completely defeats the concept published in this article.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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I can't find any of the specific stuff I'm thinking of right now, but there's been disussion for a while about compact fluorescent bulbs being able to communicate/relay with wifi/IR devices for years now...

The only thing I'm coming across right now is from 11 years ago...

Fluorescent LANs Light the Way

Data hidden in the flicker of fluorescent bulbs may help the disabled lead independent lives.


June 6, 2001

The flicker of fluorescent lights, long a symbol of institutional drear, may give new freedom to the handicapped, thanks to a high-tech startup that sees the bulbs as the perfect transmitters.
Talking Lights, a Cambridge-based MIT spinoff, is developing a local area network that uses fluctuations in fluorescent lights to transmit data. Inventor, company founder and MIT professor Steven Leeb predicts the technology will be a boon for the disabled.

For example, he says, airport lights could direct a blind person carrying a special receiver-worn as a badge or held like a PDA-to the correct gate. Auditorium lights could broadcast enhanced audio to the hearing disabled, or transcriptions to the deaf. And research published this month suggests that the technology could greatly improve the rehabilitation of persons with traumatic brain injury.

In his MIT laboratory, Leeb recently demonstrated his invention. First, he turned on a circular fluorescent light. "See?" he asked. "A normal lamp. You probably have one in your bathroom."

Next, he picked up his receiver-a black box attached to two small speakers. From a few feet away, he pointed the receiver at the lamp. Music blared from the speakers. Tinny, but clear, came the familiar chorus from Handel's Messiah.

At the heart of the device is a new kind of ballast, the component of fluorescent lights that regulates the amount of electricity flowing into the lamp. Magnetic ballasts dim the lamp about every 1/120th of a second-the normal oscillation of alternating current-causing an imperceptible flicker. Newer electronic ballasts speed up the flicker rate to milliseconds, eliminating eyestrain and hum, two complaints long associated with fluorescents.

Since electronic ballasts flicker independently of the current's oscillation, Leeb realized that they could, with some modification, encode data. He designed ballasts that transmit both digital data-by turning the light on and off in short bursts-and analog data, by modulating the light's brightness by degrees.

A basic Leeb-designed ballast can encode a simple repeating signal, such as the location of an emergency exit. A more advanced version includes a modem to read data transmitted over the power line.

...

Burke and Leeb designed a system to remind brain-injured patients at Spaulding about their schedule. Each participating patient carried a "Personal Locator and Minder," a modified PDA programmed with the patient's schedule. Lights in the patients' rooms, hallways and certain other areas were set up to broadcast location information to the Personal Locator.

When the time of a scheduled event, such as therapy or medication, drew near, the Personal Locator would remind the patient. Using location information from the lights, the Personal Locator would judge whether the patient was proceeding toward the event and give more detailed directions if needed.

...

Leeb envisions far more applications for his invention. Malls could direct the blind and befuddled alike. Airlines could turn their plane's cabin lights into a data network, without adding to the miles of wire.

"Fluorescent lights are everywhere," he says. "The infrastructure is already in place."

There have been a lot of advancements and price reductions over the past eleven years, not to mention the rise of the security state...
edit on 22-8-2012 by 1825114 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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^Here's a related patent

6198230: Dual-use Electronic Transceiver Set for Wireless - MIT
web.mit.edu...



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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This would still require a custom lightbulb with a bunch of communication electronics added to it. There is still no technology available for using a standard lightbulb (incandescent, LED, or fluorescent) by itself to spy.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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here's an article that came out this time last year...

Wireless data can be delivered by LED lights, anywhere: call it ‘Li-Fi’

August 24, 2011

Think about it: around the world, there are millions of street lamps, in every city and town on every continent. One visionary has a proposal to put each and every one of these lamps to work for a new purpose beyond illuminating the street below. They could serve as wireless Internet access points, communicating to devices, as well as vehicles.

Harald Haas, a professor of engineering at Edinburgh University, even has a name for this new networking technology: “Li-Fi,” for light-fidelity.

At a recent TED conference, Haas pitched his proposal for Li-Fi data transmission, suggesting that the applications and capacity for data would be limitless — from using car headlights to transmit data, or employing line of sight light sources as data transmitters.

Haas says data can be transmitted via LED bulbs that glow and darken faster than the human eye can see.



The system, which he’s calling D-Light, uses a mathematical trick called OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing), which allows it to vary the intensity of the LED’s output at a very fast rate, invisible to the human eye. For the eye, the bulb would simply be on and providing light. The signal can be picked up by simple receivers. As of now, Haas is reporting data rates of up to 10 MBit/s per second (faster than a typical broadband connection), and 100 MBit/s by the end of this year and possibly up to 1 GB in the future.

There’s plenty of capacity, he says: “We have 10,000 times more spectrum, 10,000 times more LEDs installed already in the infrastructure. You would agree with me, hopefully, there’s no issue of capacity anymore.” The added bonus, he adds, is that the infrastructure is free, and even would promote more rapid adoption of more energy-efficient LED bulbs. “It should be so cheap that it’s everywhere,” Haas says. “Using the visible light spectrum, which comes for free, you can piggy-back existing wireless services on the back of lighting equipment.”

Plus, there would be wireless access points anywhere there is a light source. Even smartphones, with their LED displays, could serve as data sources...

thread on it...

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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Way to make an already paranoid person's jaw drop! S+F...*eyes lightbulbs*



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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Along similar lines to this is the fact that any speaker can be used as a microphone.

You gotta wonder about the circuitry behind that output TRS socket in the back of your computer... or perhaps those LED TVs are mirroring there owners in that they too are watching and listening...

Spooky...



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 



Wonder how possible it would be to spy on people on a large scale using this technique?


Zero.

Despite the fact that you have no real lens or other device to provide some kind of sensible aperture, each PN junction would give you an effective one pixel.

So, even if you had a thousand LEDs tacked to your wall in a grid-like pattern, you've got a 10x100 bitmap image with, presuming you use a few techniques, a 16-bit color palette. You've got an Super Nintendo sprite.

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It always puzzles me why it is people come up with these ridiculous and implausible "your computer mouse may be spying on you!" conspiracy theories when their internet browser already collects megabytes of history to refine targeted advertising, they carry around a camera and microphone paired with a wireless data modem (cell phone), and have half a dozen cameras blatantly embedded in game control devices, computer monitors, etc.

Why the hell would anyone go through the trouble of using an LED to tell what the average color of your room is when they could just convince you that your manhood is too small and drop a virus into your smart phone when you open up the "special discount" notification?



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:15 PM
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"The lightbulb that can transmit data"




posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:16 PM
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It explains the feeling why i always felt i was being watched from something in ceiling.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


No, not really. Not only would it suck ass to try to design your LED drivers to reverse-bias LEDs periodically and measure leakage times, all it would tell you would be the light level. Oh, and that info is all intertwined with other things that cause leakage, like temperature.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by ManFromEurope

But what about your LCD-TV? Much bigger. Many more pixels. Better turn it to the wall if unused, right?

Sorry, just messing with you. The data-link is missing or would clog your bandwidth.


Without a big lens in front of the TV to form an image on the set, all you get is millions of readings of the light level in the room. So, no.

edit to add:

Also an LCD is not an LED. At all.
edit on 3-1-2013 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)





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