As more of our electronic gadgets connect to the internet, and as we use more applications that also utilize internet connections, it should become obvious that security from hackers, crooks, and government spooks will be an ongoing problem.
Amazon Echo listens to your voice, ostensibly to perform some requested task, but also to sell you products from Amazon. What about devices that can see your face? Amazon Echo Show has a camera and a screen so you can communicate with other Echo Show users, but Amazon could easily capture images of you to learn what you’re wearing and what kind of furniture you have in your home.
What about Apple’s new iPhones?
Their future will include 3D Face ID technology. A component that can scan your face with infrared light to determine you are who you say you are. It’s like Touch ID for your face. It works by spraying a bunch of invisible lights and then capturing the reflection to paint a digital, three dimensional picture of your face.
What if that same technology could be used to read your lips?
As it is now, Siri on newer iPhones has an always on function which waits for anyone nearby to say, “Hey Siri…” before springing into action to listen to a command or query. That seems sufficiently benign, but voice recognition and face recognition today won’t be the same as it will in a few years.
Your iPhone could listen to your conversations, and if muted, listen to what you say thanks to lip reading technology. I see both good and bad in iPhone lip reading.
For those who cannot speak, lip reading would be a useful function to allow those iPhone owners to dictate messages to Siri. Taken a step further, lip reading could be utilized in FaceTime so people could hear someone with a speaking disability as Siri translates by lip reading and print captions on the screen in near real time.
Or, iPhones with lip reading ability could receive commands to Siri during a meeting or class. No voice needed. Just speak softly or move lips. Siri would transcribe the rip leading into an action or query.
This is obvious. A hacked application could read your lips or those of anyone else nearby–when you don’t want that to happen. Think Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey and you get the idea.
Lip reading iPhones are coming.