Smartphone app can detect hidden camera lenses from reflections

Time-of-flight sensors built into some smartphones can be used to detect the telltale reflections from hidden camera lenses


3 December 2021

A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Z Fold 3 smartphone inside the company's Digital Plaza store at the Hyundai Seoul department store in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. Samsung Electronics will releases its preliminary third quarter earnings on Oct. 8. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A smartphone with a triple camera system

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Surveillance cameras can keep us safe or invade our privacy, and improvements in miniaturisation mean they can now be hidden in almost any object. Researchers have developed a smartphone app that is claimed to detect such hidden cameras with 88.9 per cent accuracy.

Commercial devices to spot hidden cameras are available, but carrying a specific device for this purpose is inconvenient. Sriram Sami at the National University of Singapore and his colleagues hope to provide the same function via a standard smartphone.

The system …