New Delhi. Students at IIT here have developed a mobile application that would instantly change the pitch of the voice of the speaker after pressing a designated button on the handset, thus making the voice rather unrecognizable even though intelligible. Students are planning to launch the application as a premium product for professionals, who fear that their telephone conversations could be being tapped and recorded by intelligence agencies.
“Even if the recordings are released at some point in the future, the person caught can always claim that the voice on the tape is not his or hers,” said Rani Radia, a final year Computer Science and Engineering student, who along with a three of her batch-mates has developed the application on Android platform.
Rani and her friends have tested their application, tentatively named SafeLobyy 1.0.1, on their mobile handsets and the initial results have been “very encouraging”, she says.
“Venu was sounding like Veena after the pitch was increased by 137%,” Rani informed, “it sounded so bizarre that a girl was telling another girl how everyone could see her (him) shaving early this afternoon in the hostel balcony.”
“It might give rise to new imagined scandals, but then the original ones are always buried due to this smokescreen,” Muthu Krishna Venu, a co-developer, justified such misinterpretations that could happen once a person activated SafeLobyy 1.0.1.
Venu further informed that the application, when activated, interferes with the microphone of the handset and alters its recorded frequency by a factor selected by the user. In such a scenario, even the caller gets to hear an altered voice.
“It could shock the caller, but I guess people would use it with complicity,” Venu suggested, and claimed that SafeLobyy 1.0.1 was far better than other gadgets, which at best made the altered voice sound look like that of a duck or some ghost from Shaktimaan.
The team of developers has refused to launch the application as a Mobile VAS (value added service) in partnership with telecom service providers as it could “defeat the basic purpose”.
“The application must be hosted locally on the handset and the service providers, who could come under pressure from investigating agencies, should have no idea if a subscriber was using such an application,” Rani explained.
Rani, Venu and their two other unnamed friends are planning to make corporate presentations and demonstration of SafeLobyy 1.0.1 to various media organizations, corporate houses, government ministries, and political parties in the coming weeks.