Friday, July 13, 2018

All Ears: Always-On Listening Devices Could Soon Be Everywhere



If every tree falling in every forest might soon be heard by an internet-connected microphone, what hope is there for our privacy?

Already when you’re sitting in a room with an iPhone, an Apple Watch and a smart assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home, you’re surrounded by a dozen microphones. (Newer iPhones have four and the Echo has seven, while the smartwatch has just one, for now.)

Add in the latest smart wireless headphones—Apple’s expected next-generation AirPods or competing ones from Bose or Shure—along with talking microwave ovens and TVs from Samsung, LG and others, and anyone at home or in an open-plan office could soon be within earshot of hundreds of microphones. Most of them will be listening for a wake word like “Alexa,” “Hey Siri,” or “OK Google,” just as our phones and smart assistants do now.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/all-ears-always-on-listening-devices-could-soon-be-everywhere-1531411250

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