Google experts demonstrate a mobile phone that can cheat at cards

31 October 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-10-31-at-11.10.29-22780.png The phone uses a combination of a hidden camera and invisible infrared ink
$1,300 device uses hidden camera and invisible infrared ink to identify the order of an entire deck

Next time you feel the luck of the draw is against you, perhaps you could consider investing in a $1,300 fake mobile phone that can help you cheat at cards.

A team of security experts from Google revealed their research into the advanced device designed to cheat at poker in China at this month’s Defcon conference, in a talk titled ‘Cheating at poker James Bond style’.

The Chinese-made device is disguised as an Android-powered Samsung smartphone, and can be used to make calls and run apps like a standard handset. However, there’s one big difference; in the side of the phone are a series of infrared LEDs and IR camera, hidden just behind the casing.

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These lights secretly illuminate a deck of cards that has been pre-prepared with invisible infrared ink. Each card has a particular sequence of lines and dots painted along its edge relating to its suit and denomination, which the phone’s hidden camera then picks up using the IR beam, analyses and relays back to the user – meaning they know exactly what card will be drawn next.

Obviously, continually checking your phone at a poker table probably isn’t the best look, so the phone can speak the results through a tiny earpiece or even communicated through cryptic vibrations to a buzzing device strapped to an arm or leg – both of which the Google pros said were included with the device they purchased.

It’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in the market for such an advanced way of cheating at cards, but the talk is a fascinating look at the way that technology can impact the playing of physical games all the same – especially when money is involved.


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