SoniControl - the first ultrasonic firewall
The constant connectivity of our mobile devices exposes us to new surveillance methods. Novel technologies build upon ultrasonic sounds to exchange information. More and more of our devices communicate via this inaudible communication channel. Ultrasonic communication makes it possible to pair devices, exchange information but also to track users and their behaviour across several devices - similar to cookies in the web. Within the SoniControl project we have developed a mobile application that detects ultrasonic activity in the environment, notifies the user and blocks the information on demand. Today, SoniControl is the only ready-to-use solution to protect oneself against ultrasonic tracking and has been downloaded more than 21.000 times so far.
The major goal of follow-up project SoniControl 2.0 is to extend the app with many useful features. Currently there is no detailed information about the detected ultrasonic data packages. Features that will be added consist of advanced diagnostics features (including the recognition of the message type/protocol), visualization and sonification of detections and a community-based sharing feature that will enable users to take benefit from the detections of other users. It is further planned to make first steps towards an iOS version of the app based on the specifications developed in SoniControl 2.0.
In mid-future the SoniControl firewall shall be integrated into the new ultrasonic communication protocol SoniTalk which is currently also under development at the Institute for Creative\Media/Technologies. Thereby, we aim at establishing a secure and transparent ultrasonic communication channel for future IoT and Industry 4.0 applications.