Researcher Sawed Out Microphone From Google Stadia Controller


Google's new Stadia service leverages the Chrome ecosystem to deliver PC streaming games to mobile devices, TVs and web browsers. While not required, the company even offers a dedicated Stadia controller that connects directly to streaming servers over Wi-Fi to reduce system latency. The controller is equipped with a tiny microphone for interacting with the voice assistant.


As it turns out, you can't mute the microphone, which could be a concern for users looking to maintain privacy. Security researcher Heikki Juva disagrees with this state of affairs and has personally removed the microphone from the Stadia controller. True, this was not so easy to do.


After reviewing previous attempts to disassemble the device, Yuva realized that it was almost impossible to remove the microphone without damaging the controller. However, the researcher came up with an idea: knowing roughly where the microphone was located, he drilled a small hole in the controller case in the right place. To complicate matters, he had to drill through the printed circuit board to get to the microphone on the back. Fortunately, the microphone is housed on its own printed circuit board, and its physical damage did not affect the controller's performance in any way.


After painstaking work, Juve managed to drill a 7 mm hole and remove the microphone without damaging the controller. The removal of the microphone did not affect the overall functionality of the device, which was to be expected.



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