It feels like increasing awareness of the ability of hackers to surreptitiously access webcams and microphones has helped spawn a cottage industry for webcam blockers and the like in recent years. And while a lot of these products look and act the same, a new Kickstarter project, simply called "Nope," is standing out by throwing in a sound blocker as well.
Made up of a 3.5mm headphone plug attached to a thin strip of metal, the Nope Sound Blocker is claimed to work with any device with a jack to match. According to Bungajungle, the device works by forcing whatever it is attached to to sense that another mic is installed, turning off any on-board microphones in order to block any potential eavesdroppers from listening in. Given the fact that it should work with everything from laptops to smartphones, that's a bold claim. But if it works as it says on the tin, that's pretty impressive for such a tiny package.
Along with the sound blocker, the Nope package also includes an elegant little webcam blocker that can easily cover cameras on nearly anything. A little sliding mechanism moves back and forth to cover and uncover a camera at will.
It's definitely a neat little setup if you're concerned about the possibility of someone listening in on your conversations or peering through your webcam. But, as with all Kickstarter projects, we'll have to wait until these start shipping to determine the quality of the hardware. Regardless, the campaign is already fully funded, and it's still totally open for 38 more days. There are different packs available, with webcam blockers starting at $10 for a pack of three, or sound blockers starting at $15 for one. Packs with both included start at $25.
Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to email@example.com.
Does it come with a tin foil hat? Seriously though, I though you could manually select which recording device you wanted to be active in Windows if the system detected two or more. I've got three showing up in my sound properties and it will let me pick any of them as the default. If a hacker can get into your computer with enough privileges to access your webcam feed I imagine they can also figure out how to switch recording streams too. It would probably work on an iPhone since I have to unplug my AUX cable to be able to speak if I get a call in my car while I'm listening to podcasts through the stereo. But then again, simply switching to speaker mode might bypass it. Gonna have to try on the way home today.
"I though you could manually select which recording device you wanted to be active in Windows if the system detected two or more" smartphones more, but there's a reason Mark Zuckerberg has his webcams covered. Beyond that, you can't *know* that Microsoft isn't spying without this plug. Most phones would switch to this, but if you're already tinfoil hatting enough to get this, you know that even with this plugged in and on in settings, those settings can be ignored for eavesdropping.
I think someone needs to understand that a speaker is the same thing as a microphone. You can test it out yourself by plugging your head phones into a mic socket and recording yourself talking into the speakers.
All the sound chips are software defined now and you can pipe sounds out or in them from what ever direction sees fit. So unless you're poking holes in the speakers as well, you're wasting your money because hacker that wants to record you via your speakers can do with minimal effort.
Well said bro. Absolutely correct fact.
This doesn't make sense. At the point your phone/laptop/desktop is "tapped", they could easily have it ignore that this is plugged in and still record sound from both.
Hey I like my stylish peice of clear scotch tape.....what's that you say?? its not really blocking the webcam?? oh my....that means....but I thought.....DAMN!!!! (Closes laptop)
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