Conversnitch is a device built for less than $100 that resembles a lamp. This device listens to nearby conversations and posts snippets of transcribed audio to Twitter.
The creators, Kyle McDonald and Brian House hope to raise questions about the nature of public and private spaces when anything can be broadcast by internet-connected listening devices.
The gadget is constructed from a Raspberry Pi miniature computer, a microphone, an LED and a plastic flower pot. It is powered by any standard bulb socket. The audio is captured and uploaded, via the nearest open Wi-Fi network to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform, that post lines of conversation to their twitter account.
I think this is interesting because proves that conversations might not be private anymore. This device was in many places where people thought no one was listening to them. It is open source so anyone can recreate this experiment in a place near you.
Twitter with the conversations: https://twitter.com/conversnitch
Video showing someone installing these gadgets: http://vimeo.com/87564506
Code on GitHub: https://github.com/brianhouse/Conversnitch